What do you mean by Functional Foods?
Functional foods are also called nutraceuticals. These food products provide more than just basic nutrients to the health. They consist of various supplements and additional ingredients for the improvement of health. Furthermore, they are fruits and vegetables which are rich in vitamins, minerals, probiotics, and fiber.
Functional Foods are full of nutrition. They protect humans from nutrient deficiencies and diseases besides that they also promote development and growth.
You would be wondering how effective these food products are in improving health conditions? Therefore these food products are mainly subdivided into two parts i.e. conventional and modified. Conventional food products such as oatmeal are rich in nutrients as well as they are healthy for the heart and also reduce cholesterol levels. On the other hand, Modified Foods are fortified with additional nutrients to improve health such as coconut and almond milk.
Operations of Functional Food
Weight Management & Cardio Health
Several foods provide a feeling of fullness. As high protein products make us feel full for a longer period. Moreover, eggs, low-fat dairy products, legumes, and high fiber products like oatmeal helps in managing weight.
Various Functional Foods are favorable for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases. The food items included in it are garlic, flaxseeds, tea, fish and oats, etc. these food items when eaten in suitable proportion on regular basis eventually helps in reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases by reducing the blood lipid level and inhibiting platelet aggregation.
Clinical & Sports Food
Chronic health patients require clinical nutrition. This nutrition helps in the prevention, diagnosis, and management of nutritional changes. It requires adapting changes in eating habits.
Sports drink are a great source of electrolytes and carbohydrates which helps in fluid loss and also help muscles to work properly as they provide energy as well. Sportspersons don’t require consuming supplements for vitamins and minerals if they consume diets rich in functional foods.
Primary Ingredients of Functional Food
Vitamins & Minerals
Functional Foods are rich in vitamins and minerals which are great for cell function. Food items that are less processed contain a large number of nutrients to meet the needs of humans.
- Salmons are fatty fishes that contain less mercury and a higher amount of Omega-3 fatty acids. It eventually results in lowering the risk of heart diseases.
- We should consume unsalted nuts as they improve heart health. In addition, they are great sources of magnesium which helps in regulating blood pressure.
- To maintain dietary fiber intake a human should consume whole grain such as oatmeal in proper quantity. These are super-foods which eventually result in controlling blood sugar level in our body.
- Superfoods like berries are not only less in calorie also the anthocyanin component which provides berries color provide great health benefits.
Protein & amino Acids
There are innumerable functional foods that have potential whey protein. Consumers usually prefer whey protein for its taste and its high nutritional value. These whey protein sources provide an adequate amount of protein for our day-to-day life.
Amino acids are a good source of dietary supplements that results in the growth of the small intestine and skeletal muscle and it also reduces excess body fat.
Probiotics & Dietary Fiber
Functional foods such as probiotics are great for health as they provide various health benefits other than basic nutrition. Mostly all the probiotics food products contain lactic acid-producing bacteria which improves our gut as well as digestion.
Dietary Fiber is naturally available in food. On the other hand, functional fiber is extracted from various whole foods and is then combined with processed foods. It also improves bowel movement.
Individual nutrition, health, and well-being have been significantly affected by the covid-19 outbreak. There has been a considerable increase in the fear of disease and worries about one’s well-being. Covid-19 has sparked interest in functional meals which offer health benefits such as immunity and stress management.
Health concerns have been on the rise a year after the covid-19 crises began. This portrays that as a result of the covid-19 virus people’s view on health and well-being has shifted considerably.
During this prevailing epidemic, the need for these functional foods has increased. As a consequence of the global coronavirus, crisis people have become more conscious about adding healthy food products to their diet to boost their immunity to avoid their indulgence towards the covid-19 deadly virus. Functional food products and other healthy food habits are popular among people due to their advantages.
Functional food is a division of food that is related to excellent health benefits. These foods not only prevent humans from various nutrient deficiencies but also protect human bodies from diseases by improving immunity.
In addition, it promotes proper growth and development. Moreover, we should incorporate various fortified foods in our diet to fill up space as well as we should add a variety of whole foods to our diet to improve our health.