ALOT actually, if you do it right. The term functional differs from the fad like nubien ‘superfood’, in that it isn’t determined as a singular ingredient. For a meal to be functional, it doesn’t require 2 parts algae 1 part acai berries. How a meal is functional is determined by how your food is working for you.
Individually we have all become creatures of habit, people often use the same bathroom stall at work, order the exact same coffee every morning, roll out of the same side of the bed. The same goes with how we eat; x for breakfast, y for lunch (or T if you’re feeling edgy) and Z for dinner. Variations on themes, but usually we stay within our lane. Meals, therefor, stop functioning as replenishing nutrients we can use with ingredients that can heal, but function instead as simple fuel that stamps just like yesterday. These foods no longer deliver a kaleidoscope of different nutrients, but instead reinject the same shit, day after day. And because of that, you become sensitive to those foods. They become inflammatory for your system and stop functioning as they should.
To make your food function for YOU, I challenge you to step out of your lane only slightly, keeping the foods you routinely enjoy (do you still enjoy them??) and have a look at the ingredients. In each of your meals I can guarantee there is something you can swap out, for a healthier less inflammatory option. Wheat is the obvious choice here, but so are mixing up your vegetables, consider liver instead of steak, fennel instead of onions or duck fat instead of vegetable oil. Sure hummus is good, but it’s not the only healthy dip there is! Look at what your eating and think laterally- see if there is an alternative that is cost effective, locally and ethically sourced, non ‘sensitive’ ingredient you can exchange it with.
This is why I developed Sensitive – Functional Foods for everyday cooking. As an Australian Naturopath with a degree in Complementary medicine and decades in the health and supplement industry I’ve seen dietary fads fall by the side of the road. If it’s unsustainable for you it won’t have longevity on your health. So start with breakfast, then move onto lunch! Whether it’s knowledge you’re after or you’re sick of feeling….sick, taking a long hard look at your daily habits can be the difference between eating functionally, or living ‘sensitive’.