Functional Food: Beneficial In Enhancing the Health


Functional Food: Beneficial In Enhancing the Health

  29-Jun-2021
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What are Functional Foods?

Functional Food is also known as Nutraceuticals. They are Food Products that provide much more than basic nutrition to the health. They also contain various supplements and additional ingredients for improving health. Moreover, they are fruits and veggies which are nutritionally rich in vitamins, minerals, probiotics, and fiber.

Functional foods are highly nutritious they prevent humans from nutrient deficiencies and diseases besides that promote proper growth and development.

You might be wondering how these foods are capable of improving health conditions. So Functional foods are sub-divided into two parts i.e. conventional and modified. Conventional food such as oats, etc is nutrient-rich so they are Heart-healthy products which reduce cholesterol level. While modified food is fortified with additional nutrients to improve health benefits such as almond or coconut milk.

Applications of Functional Foods

Cardio Health & Weight Management

Many Functional Foods are beneficial for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases. The foods included in it are oats, garlic, flaxseeds, tea, and fish. When eaten in suitable proportion on regular basis it results in decreased risk of cardiovascular diseases by lowering blood lipid level and inhibiting platelet aggregation.

Several food items provide great satisfaction. Such as protein high products keep you feel full for a period of time. Likewise, low fat-dairy products, eggs, legumes, and high fiber products such as oats help in reducing weight.

 Sports & Clinical Nutrition

Sportspeople drink sports drinks which are a good source of carbohydrates and electrolytes which help in preventing fluid loss and are also a great source of energy for the muscle to work properly. Athletes generally don't consume vitamin and mineral supplements if they consume a diet rich in functional foods.

Clinical nutrition is mainly needed for patients with chronic health diseases. Clinical nutrition helps in the prevention, diagnosis, and management of nutritional changes. It mainly requires incorporating changes in food habits.

Key Ingredients of Functional Food

 Vitamins & Minerals

Functional foods provide vitamins and minerals for cell function. Less processed food items contain a large number of various nutrients so as to meet the needs of humans

  • Fatty fishes like salmons contain less mercury and a higher amount of Omega-3 fatty acids. It results in lowering the risk of heart diseases.
  • Unsalted nuts make you feel full and improve heart health. Moreover, they are a good source of magnesium that helps in managing blood pressure.
  • Oatmeal is popular for high dietary fiber. It’s a super food which helps in controlling cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
  • Berries are great functional foods. Not only are they low in calories, anthocyanin pigment which provides them color offers great health benefits.

Protein & Amino Acids

There are a number of potential functional foods which contain whey protein. Consumers prefer whey protein products due to their taste and high nutritional value.

Amino acids are a great source of dietary supplement which enhances the growth of the small intestine and skeletal muscle and reduces excess body fat.

Probiotics & Dietary Fiber

Probiotics are considered functional foods as they provide various health benefits beyond traditional nutrition. Mostly all probiotic products contain lactic acid-producing bacteria which are good for gut health.

Dietary fiber is available naturally in foods. Functional fiber is extracted from whole foods and is then combined with processed foods.

Covid-19 Impact:

The global coronavirus outbreak has had a significant impact on how individuals think about their nutrition, health, and well-being. There has been a significant increase in the fear of disease and worry about one's well-being. COVID-19 has sparked interest in functional meals that offer health benefits such as immunity and stress management.

Concerns about health problems are on the rise a year after the COVID-19 crisis began. This indicates that, as a result of the virus, consumers' attitudes on health and wellbeing have shifted significantly.

During the epidemic, the need for functional foods has risen. As a result of the global coronavirus crisis, people have become more conscious of the significance of including healthy foods in their diets in order to boost immunity and avoid contracting the deadly COVID-19 illness. Functional meals and other related goods are popular among people because of their advantages.

Conclusion

Functional foods have excellent health benefits. as they are good sources of vital nutrients. They don’t only protect humans from diseases but also prevent various nutrient deficiencies. Moreover, it promotes proper growth and development. In addition, we should include fortified foods in our diet to fill in the gaps as well as we should add a variety of whole foods in our diet so as to support our health.

The Global Functional Food Market size is expected to rise at a market growth of 8.5% CAGR during the forecast period.