July 21, 2024
Functional Food

Functional Food Boosting Nutrition Unique Food Items to Enhance Your Daily Meals

Introduction to Functional Food

Health beneficial food is a category of food that provides health benefits beyond basic nutrition, such as preventing disease. They are similar to regular foods in appearance, but may have added components that offer positive health advantages.

Health Benefits of Functional Food

Health beneficial foods provide important nutrients that benefit our bodies in numerous ways. Some of the key health benefits associated with health beneficial foods include:

Heart Health

Many health beneficial foods help manage cardiovascular health by reducing risk factors like high blood pressure or cholesterol levels. Foods like oats, certain fish, nuts, and plant sterols can aid heart health. Oats are a good source of beta glucan fiber, which helps lower LDL “bad” cholesterol levels.

Fatty fish like salmon are high in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Daily consumption of walnuts has been shown to improve lipid profiles and may reduce risk of coronary heart disease. Plant sterols, found naturally in small amounts in fruits and vegetables, are also helpful in lowering cholesterol when consumed in enriched/fortified foods and beverages.

Disease Prevention

There is evidence that eating certain health Functional Food may help prevent illnesses. Fiber-rich foods support digestive health and may lower risk of conditions like irritable bowel syndrome and diverticulitis. Soy products are a good plant-based protein that also contain isoflavones, which studies show may protect against breast and prostate cancers. Berries contain anthocyanins, powerful antioxidants linked to reducing cancer risk. Probiotic yogurt delivers live active cultures that promote a healthy gut microbiome and immune response.

Brain Health

Nutrients in health Functional Food like fatty fish, nuts, berries, broccoli, and eggs benefit brain health. Omega-3s from fish oils support brain development and function. Research links flavonoids from berries and cocoa to delaying cognitive decline and reducing Alzheimer’s risk. Eggs are a top source of choline, which is important for memory. Antioxidants from fruits and veggies protect neurons from oxidative stress and inflammation.

Anti-Aging Effects

Foods packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and polyphenols may help slow aging at the cellular level. Kiwifruit delivers noteworthy amounts of vitamin C and vitamin E for strong collagen production and youthful skin. Tomatoes contain lycopene shown to protect skin from sun damage. Berries boast antioxidants like anthocyanins that aide collagen repair and reduce wrinkles. Dark leafy greens like kale and spinach are well-known for being nutrition powerhouses, delivering minerals and phytonutrients for cellular regeneration.

Choosing and Eating Health beneficial foods

While many convenient health beneficial foods come in enriched or fortified forms, whole foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, dairy, eggs and fish naturally contain vital nutrients that promote health. Some tips for including more health beneficial foods in your diet include:

– Shop the perimeter of the grocery store where most whole, minimally processed foods like produce are located. Fresh is usually best.

– Focus on getting a variety of colorful whole foods including dark leafy and cruciferous greens, berries, citrus fruits, melons, and tomatoes daily.

– Keep nuts, nut butters, seeds and legumes like lentils or chickpeas on hand for snacks, salads and meal additions.

– Choose fatty fish like salmon, sardines, trout at least twice per week and explore plant-based omega-3 sources like walnuts, flaxseeds.

– Incorporate flavorful herbs and spices beyond salt. Options like turmeric, garlic, ginger and cinnamon add antioxidants.

– Select options fortified with extra vitamins, minerals or fiber when convenient such as fortified plant milks, cereals and breads.

– Vary your probiotic intake with yogurt or kefir daily and occasionally consume fermented foods like kimchi or kombucha.

– Drink plenty of water and limit added sugars from processed foods, sweets and beverages.

Making health beneficial foods a regular part of your diet helps support long-term health and disease prevention. Focus on whole, minimally processed options most days for maximum nutritional benefits.

*Note:
1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it