If you’re new to the world of functional foods and supplements, you might be thinking, “All foods have a function, right?” They provide you with nutrients and keep you from starving, what else are they supposed to do? “Well, there’s something else.
The concept of functional nutrition first appeared in Japan in the mid-1980s. While there is no scientific or universal definition of “functional food”, the term is generally applied to any food consumed with some health benefit. If you eat blueberries because you like the taste of them, then it’s just food. When you eat them because you know they contain glucoquinine, which strengthens your eyes, they become “functional food.”
This is where the word nutraceutical comes into play. A nutraceutical is an ingredient taken from conventional foods and marketed as a health product. However, the line between dietary supplements and dietary supplements can be a little blurry. For example, you can apply both terms to bilberry or bilberry pills that are sold as vision enhancing supplements.
Popular functional products
The most common types of foods labeled functional are vegetables and fruits, which are eaten for the various vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients they contain, and whole grains, which are eaten as a source of soluble fiber. Fish is often eaten for its omega-3 fatty acids, and many people also drink wine specifically for its beneficial effects on the circulatory system. Although berries are rich in vital nutrients, they are often overlooked as a functional food simply because they taste great. It’s easy to forget that this is “healthy food”.
When it comes to food, decisions are pretty easy to make. You need to eat something, so why not choose the most nutritious food, as long as it at least tastes good? However, when it comes to nutritional supplements, the choice is not so easy. The ads sound great, but many doctors warn about the dangers of overdosing, mixing supplements, or taking them with prescription drugs.
If you eat a healthy and balanced diet with plenty of fresh vegetables, fruits, grains and legumes
(along with dairy, fish, and lean meats if you like) you probably don’t need supplements. Unfortunately, few of us can always eat perfectly. Consider supplements if you know you won’t be able to eat well for a while if you need additional nutrients, for example. B. if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have a medical condition that affects digestion. Vegans should also pay attention to supplements.
However, be aware that some supplements can be almost as strong as prescription drugs. (After all, if they didn’t do anything to your body, why would you even take them?) Before you start any new supplement, research the potential side effects and interactions, and talk to your doctor about them.
With all the junk food available today, it takes a little planning and forethought to eat right.
When you include functional foods and supplements in your diet, you are much more likely to meet all of your nutritional and dietary supplements.