October 15, 2012

What are functional foods?

 http://reneweveryday.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/9252d5603ba44e999994ba64c55b11031.jpgWith recovery comes a list of things you have to avoid: alcohol, triggers, painkillers, people who are bad influences. But luckily, there is also a list of things you can lose yourself in, healthy foods being one. In fact, the more you take care of your nutrition, the better you’ll feel.

You’ve probably heard of super foods, super fruits and antioxidant-rich foods. But, what about functional foods?

Functional foods are foods that have a potentially positive effect on health beyond basic nutrition. Not only are they a boost to your nutritional value, they may play a role in reducing your risk of disease or in improving your health.

Mayo Clinic nutritionist Jennifer K. Nelson, R.D., L.D., explains that, for example, oatmeal is a functional food because it naturally contains soluble fiber that can help lower cholesterol levels.

Other functional foods include: almonds, garlic, spinach, tomatoes, flaxseed, avocados, blueberries, olive oil, milk, yogurt, walnuts, tuna, broccoli, cranberries and citrus fruit.

According to Nelson, there is no current legal definition for functional foods. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates claims that manufacturers make about functional foods' nutrient content and effects on disease, health or body function. The FDA regulates these types of foods according to whether a food is considered to be a conventional food, a food additive, a dietary supplement, a medical food or a food for special dietary use.

But keep in mind that functional foods can’t make up for general poor eating habits. They are beneficial, however, as part of a balanced and varied diet.

Image courtesy of stock.xchng.com.


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