Nutritional Therapy uses evidence-based knowledge from nutrition and health sciences to promote optimal health through introducing positive nutritional and lifestyle changes tailored to an individual.
The focus is on improving the physiological function of a number of body systems that may be under stress and bring them into balance through addressing nutritional deficiencies or excesses.
These systems include:
Each person is individual and therefore there is no ‘one size fits all’ model for eating (these models are often based on outdated research) and they simply don’t work well for a lot of people.
How the body functions, protection against disease and environmental changes are all influenced by the nutrients we eat. On the flip side, eating a poor diet which puts stress on the body can be a risk factor for many diseases.
Though an individual’s genetic makeup will determine just how much diet can affect our health, many dietary chemicals can alter our gene configuration. Thus, dietary intervention can be an invaluable tool to help prevent or to alleviate chronic disease.
Simply put, good nutrition means your body gets all the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals it needs to functional and work optimally. When essential systems in the body do not get the right nutrients, vitamins, and minerals these processes stop working correctly and this is where ill health can start.
Nutritional therapists should have full membership with either Association of Naturopathic Practitioners (ANP) or British Association for Applied Nutrition and Nutritional Therapy (BANT) and be registered with the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC).
ANP is a professional body for Naturopaths, Herbalists and Nutritional Therapists. It’s primary function of the ANP is to assist its members in maintaining the highest standard of competence. ANP is internationally connected and in touch with the politics of health and the safeguarding of natural therapies. All ANP members have had to have undertaken an accredited course and abide to the ANP code of ethics to be accepted into the association.
BANT is a professional body for Nutritional Therapists. Its primary function is to assist its members in attaining the highest standards of integrity, knowledge, competence and professional practice, in order to protect the client’s interests, nutritional therapy and the nutritional therapist.
The CNHC is the UK regulator for complementary healthcare practitioners. Sponsored by the Department of Health, the CNHC’s key role is to enhance public protection by setting standards for registration and ensuring that all registered practitioners meet the relevant National Occupational Standards. In November 2009 the Department of Health stated: “CNHC is the only voluntary regulatory body for complementary healthcare which has official government backing. No other organisation has the same exacting criteria or focus on safety and quality.” Nutritional Therapists must meet the CNHC’s standards and maintain their professional skills through an ongoing programme of Continuing Professional Development in order to display the CNHC quality mark