Functional foods have been in super-markets and in our lives for quite a while now but many of us do not know enough about them. It is about time that we get to know them better.
The term “functional foods” is about foods that not only have a high nutritional value but also include additional ingredients (that come from natural sources) which have a positive effect to certain functions of our body.
The EC Concerted Action on Functional Food Science in Europe (FUFOSE) proposed a working definition of
functional food: “ a food that beneficially affects one or more target functions in the body beyond adequate nutritional effects in a way that is relevant to either an improved state of health and well-being and/or reduction of risk of disease. It is consumed as part of a normal food pattern. It is not a pill, a capsule or any form of dietary supplement.”
While there is increased awareness of the links between diet and disease such as certain fats and CVD,
calcium and osteoporosis, fibre and gastrointestinal (GI) health, it is important, for a functional food, to identify the specific food constituents that could promote health and well-being as well as the exact conditions where they can have this beneficial effect.
Practical examples of a functional food:
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