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Personalised nutrition helps to maintain better overall health

We know more about our body's today than ever before. Social media has opened the door to fitness influencers, a new generation of healthy and clean eating experts, and a new perspective on how we could live our lives if we wanted to. Smartwatches and other wearable technology help individuals and their healthcare providers track, monitor and personalise recommendations to improve our overall health.
Personalised nutrition helps to maintain better overall health

Precision nutrition, also called personalised nutrition, focuses on the individual rather than groups of people. Many research studies on food and types of diets provide helpful information for communities and the general population. Personalised nutrition is gaining popularity. It refers to using technology and data to create individual customised dietary plans. It can include genetic testing, AI-powered algorithms, and other technologies that help to tailor nutritional advice and recommendations to an individual's unique characteristics and needs.

Comprehensively, personalised nutrition is associated with the individual's genetic, phenotypic, medical, nutritional, and other important information as their pitch to specific healthy eating and nutritional guidance is required.

Healthcare providers and medical aids are recognising some of the benefits and advances currently underway:

  • Genetics plays a crucial role in personalised nutrition, as different people have different genetic variations that affect how their bodies process nutrients.

  • Artificial intelligence (AI) is used to create personalised nutrition plans based on an individual's health status, dietary preferences, and other factors. For example, Nutrino Health uses AI to create personalised nutrition plans for individuals based on their medical history, nutritional habits, and fitness level.

  • Personalised nutrition can be particularly helpful in managing chronic conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. By tailoring dietary recommendations to an individual's unique needs, personalised nutrition plans can help people manage their condition and improve their overall health.

  • Personalised nutrition can also be used to improve athletic performance. By tailoring dietary recommendations to an athlete's specific needs, personalised nutrition plans can help them optimise their energy levels, improve their recovery time, and enhance their overall performance.

An excellent health opportunity exists to adopt a personalised approach to nutrition under the guidance of a trained healthcare professional. Yet, it is essential to understand that there is a difference between a dietitian and personalised nutrition.

Personalised nutrition often involves more advanced technology and focuses on personalised recommendations based on an individual's unique genetic makeup, lifestyle habits, and other factors. In many cases, dietitians may incorporate personalised nutrition technology into their practice to provide more tailored recommendations to their clients. However, the two fields are distinct and offer different approaches to improving nutrition and overall health.

Medical aids are embracing the personalised approach to their wellness programmes. Medshield Movement is a wellness portal offered by Medshield Medical Scheme. This site is designed to help members improve their overall health and well-being through various exercise and diet offerings such as fitness classes, nutrition coaching, mental health support, and wellness assessments.

In addition, the Elevate Portal (part of the Medshield loyalty programme for members) focuses on technology and data-driven wellness solutions. Members can use wearable devices such as smartwatches or fitness trackers to track their activity levels, heart rate, and other health metrics. This data is then integrated into the Elevate platform to provide personalised feedback and goals, coaching, and rewards to encourage healthy behaviour.

The current and future landscape of personalised nutrition is fascinating. It is a health innovation and development area to watch closely.

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