Nutrition, health

What is nutritional therapy?

It seems crazy to me that nutrition is seen as an alternative therapy. Without food and water we’d die, surely then it’s fundamental to our health?

Our brain needs glucose to function, among many other things! Our cells need fats and a whole host of vitamins and minerals. The nutrients we get from our food are fundamental to our physiology and our health.

In my mind there’s nothing alternative about nutrition. It’s a basic requirement for our bodies to function.

So then what is nutritional therapy?

I’d made a huge assumption that nutritional therapy was well understood. However with the emergence of health coaches, nutritionists, the clean eating movement (which I don’t agree with by the way), every different diet under the sun and the media, it’s easy to see how the world of nutrition and food is so confusing.

There’s so much misleading information out there. You even need to be careful when a new report is published as the media tends to spin it a certain way.

I’m so passionate about health and wellbeing, all because I believe with health comes happiness. And I don’t just mean physical health. Having a healthy relationship with yourself, and with life.

Anyway back to the question in hand. What is nutritional therapy? BANT (The British Association of Applied Nutrition and Nutritional Therapy which is the professional body for registered nutritional therapists) describes nutritional therapy like this.

Nutritional Therapy is the application of nutrition science in the promotion of health, peak performance and individual care. Registered Nutritional Therapists use a wide range of tools to assess and identify potential nutritional imbalances and understand how these may contribute to an individual’s symptoms and health concerns. This approach allows them to work with individuals to address nutritional balance and help support the body towards maintaining health. Nutritional Therapy is recognised as a complementary medicine and is relevant for individuals with chronic conditions, as well as those looking for support to enhance their health and wellbeing.

Here’s how I explain it. Nutritional therapy looks at the root cause of what’s going on.  It looks to join all the dots and see what’s going on with the body as a whole. It’s about what you eat and about lifestyle too. And most importantly it’s unique to every individual. It’s not about a standard diet, it’s about finding what’s going on for you and what works for you personally.

What’s great is that doctors are starting to see the importance of nutritional therapy in helping people get better, not just treating the symptoms. Hopefully you’ve seen Dr In The House with Dr Chatterjee over the past couple of weeks. If not catch up with it on iPlayer. This is what nutritional therapy is all about.

I was lucky enough to meet Dr Rupy Aujla from The Doctors Kitchen earlier this year. He’s found the world of nutrition and uses it with his patients. Here’s why he thinks nutrition is so important and what he’s doing to bring nutrition to patients.

As a GP why do you think nutrition is so important for your patients?

It’s the single most important health intervention that patients can make to improve their health. It’s also the start of a healthier lifestyle that incorporates exercise and sleep to improve healthcare outcomes.

What changes do you think need to happen in healthcare today?

People need to understand the impact of nutrition on health. Our plates are positive and powerful health interventions, I’m just trying to inspire people to eat better.

How would you like to see GPs and nutritional therapists working together?

I have a vision for community kitchens affiliated with all GP surgeries up and down the country. I can imagine cooking days for people with particular health conditions and other community building events to start the  lifestyle conversation. There are an army of nutritionists that would love to get involved in this initiative and I’m working on making this a reality.

Thanks Rupy, I’m definitely in for community kitchens! You can have a look at Rupy’s blog here.  I’d definitely recommend following him over on Instagram too.

If you’ve got any health problems or just want to know more about nutrition therapy get in touch. You can email at or book a call with me here for a free mini-consultation.

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Nicky Duffell Bio photoNicky Duffell is a nutritional therapist and health coach who works with clients to improve their health and wellbeing.  With over 17 years experience in the corporate world Nicky uses her experience of coaching senior executives to help clients gain control of their health and achieve their goals. She’s a Mum of two beautiful children and know’s what it’s like to juggle family and work.  Nicky is passionate about food, health and her family.  After life took her on a few twists and turns she started this blog to share everything she’s learnt.  You can follow Nicky on Instagram for all her food inspiration and health tips.


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