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What Is Functional Food

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According to definition foods including fortified, enriched, enhanced components or dietary components that may reduce the risk of chronic disease are called functional foods

Whereas foods beyond the traditional nutrients due to enhancement are called functional foods.

Functional foods can be defined as dietary items that, besides providing nutrients and energy, beneficially modulate one or more targeted functions in the body, by enhancing a certain physiological response and/or by reducing the risk of disease

Nicoletti, 2012

Understanding of the relationships between food, physiological function, and disease have progressed in recent years, particularly over the past decade.

Classification Of Functional Food

There are several types of Functional Foods and are described as below

  • Conventional foods
    • Garlic, Nuts, & Tomatoes
  • Modified foods 
    • Fortified, Enriched, Enhanced Iodized salt, Folate-Enriched breads, Energy bars, Snacks, & Yogurts formulated with bio-active components 
  • Medical foods
    • Phenylketonuria (PKU) formulas, free of phenylalanine
  • Special dietary foods
    • Infant foods, weight-loss foods, gluten-free foods, & lactose-free foods

Functional Foods

I am quoting few foods for your kind feed.

  • Beans
    • are good sources of B vitamins,  promotes digestive health and relieves constipation. A good tip would be to replace meat with bean twice a week.
  • Berries
    • All berries with strong red and blue colors have phytochemical that might reduce cancer rates and other chronic diseases.

  • Cabbage
    • is one of the oldest vegetables around. It continues to be a dietary staple for many and is an inexpensive source of vitamins A and C, and fiber
  • Mango
    • Consumption of mango is essential for maintenance of healthy skin, healthy vision, prevention of CVDs and cancer
  • Broccoli
    • is a good source of: vitamins A and C, potassium, folacin, iron, and fiber
  • Citrus
    • flavonoids and their metabolites are potent antioxidants. We believe it they can suppress many of the events of cancer
Citrus Fruits are also functional foods
Citrus Fruits are also functional foods
  • Cocoa
    • we found cocoa powder and cocoa extracts to exhibit a higher antioxidant capacity
  • Fish
    • is a good source of protein and is low in saturated fat
    • The following fish are especially good sources of omega-3 fatty acids
      • Mackerel 
      • Lake trout
      • Herring 
      • Sardines 
      • Albacore tuna
      • Salmon
Fish is a good functional food
Fish is a good functional food
  • Soy Isoflavone
    • I believe Soy Isoflavone play a role in prostate cancer prevention


Functional foods are on peak demands because of increasing consumer awareness for healthy living, the ageing population, increasing health care cost, advancing scientific evidence that diet can effect prevalence and progression of disease.

We should take functional foods under proper supervision of a nutritionist or other medical assistant if possible.

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