What is functional food?
Functional food is a term used to describe foods that offer health benefits beyond their basic nutritional value. These foods are believed to have specific beneficial effects on health, such as reducing the risk of certain diseases or improving physical performance. Foods that provide health benefits beyond their “basic nutrients” meaning micronutrients and macronutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, carbs, fat and protein.
Examples of functional foods include:
- Oily fish such as salmon and sardines, which are high in omega-3 fatty acids and believed to promote heart health.
- Whole grains, which are a good source of fiber and have been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes.
- Probiotic-rich foods such as yogurt and kefir, which contain live bacteria that can improve digestive health.
It's important to note that while functional foods may have health benefits, they should not be used as a replacement for a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle. A varied diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein is the best way to ensure adequate nutrient intake and maintain overall health.