Functional Food Current Trends & Issues

April 26, 2022

Functional Food Current Trends & Issues

Health consciousness is a part of people nowadays. Usually, most people interested in having a healthy life try to maintain the balance of having food or maintain the impressive list of food, drinks, and other supplements made by professionals according to their body and goal. A healthy lifestyle makes sure to have a healthy body and a solid and healthy mind. Therefore, maintaining a healthy body must be essential for people of all ages.

Functional Food Current Trends & Issues

What is the concept of functional food?

Functional foods are also known as "nutraceuticals" as well as "designer foods." Usually, these foods have some elements or compounds which help make the body healthier.

The main concept of functional food starts with the world's healthiest people who belong to Japan. In 1980 the health authorities of Japan first started to think about the concept of functional food. The government of Japan stated to select and approve the foods which have benefits for body function of people of Japan.

Leading a healthy life is the key to leading a long life. On the basis of this theory, they started to improve their food quality which has proper nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and other extra necessary compounds like omega-3, proper fiber, probiotics as well as antioxidants. This concept helps to decrease the rate of being affected by diseases other people from other countries, and now Japan has the longest life expectancy.

Current concept about functional food:

The recent Covid-19 situation has changed some concepts of lots of people regarding their food habits. The world has faced an emergency for a very long time because of this little virus. It is clear that there are some risk factors related to covid, which are directly related to a healthy lifestyle and healthy food consumption.

People who have a tendency to have unhealthy nutrients, who have obesity, and who are physically inactive are at higher risk of covid symptoms.

Recently some scientists from Harvard University had a research program on 593,000 adults who are mostly middle-aged, and some are older. This program proved the statement of the relation between the covid and a healthy lifestyle. People who had food with proper nutrients like fruits and vegetables faced a lower risk of getting covid. The percentage was very low, which is just 9%. On the other side, those who had the consumption of proper nutrients like vitamins, minerals, fiber, probiotics, and antioxidants developed a 41% lower risk of getting severe covid than the people who had consumed fewer food nutrients.

People were sensitive about the test of the food, but now they are not only sensitive about the test but also concerned about what they are having as food and what are the ingredients they are having. Instantly boosting energy is not the proper way to have a good healthy life. They need to think about the future effects of the foods they are taking now. They are thinking about not only the preparation of the body for possible future diseases but also long-term health benefits and a good immune system. This thinking has a good solution which is a functional food.

Scientists consider those foods as functional foods which are rich in nutrients like vitamins, minerals, fibers, antioxidants as well as probiotics. Some examples of trendy, functional foods are given below.

  • Fruits: kiwi, berries, pears, apples, peaches, bananas.
  • Legumes: chickpeas, black beans, lentils
  • Whole grains: oats, brown rice, barley, buckwheat.
  • Seafood: salmon, cod, sardines, mackerel, anchovies.
  • Herbs and spices: turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, cayenne pepper
  • Vegetables: spinach, broccoli, kale, cauliflower.
  • Nuts: almonds, cashews, pistachios, macadamia nuts, Brazil nuts
  • Seeds: pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, flax seeds,
  • Fermented foods: kimchi, kombucha, sauerkraut
  • Beverages: black tea, coffee, green tea,

Previous foods are considered natural foods. There are some modified foods that are also considered functional food for their value of nutrients like,

  • Fortified beverage
  • Fortified milk or dairy products
  • Fortified almond milk, coconut milk
  • Fortified rice.
  • Fortified grains
  • Fortified eggs.

Some trendy facts about functional foods

Food consumed as medicine: Functional foods have a target to improve in some sectors like.

  • Helps to improve the growth of people as well as the development and differentiation of their bodies;
  • Works to substrate metabolism on the body system
  • Makes a strong defense against reactive oxidative elements
  • Helps to work the cardiovascular system smoothly
  • Improve gastrointestinal physiology and their function
  • Controls one's behavior and psychological functions.

These beneficial factors prove that people should target having functional foods for long-term improvement of the body, which also works as the prevention of various diseases as medicine. Moreover, consumption of medicine decreases the effect of functional food, which is healthier and also saves lives and money in certain cases.

Functional foods to consume for mental wellbeing

In our body gastrointestinal tract is known as the "second brain" as the brain and digestive system have a direct relationship. That's why food controls emotions, too, like the brain.

Good bacteria in the guts are essential for proper neurotransmitter production, and a good neurotransmitter system helps one's brain to receive messages clearly, which directly promotes a good mood. By taking functional food, one can enrich his guts, brain as well as mood. It also helps to increase the power of concentration.

People usually think about sugar or sweet items to boost their mood, but this concept is totally wrong because it spikes dopamine, the reason for feeling good, which is temporary. On the other side, it increases the bad bacteria in the guts as well as inflammation. These cause unhealthy events.

Conclusion

No one can build good health overnights. It takes time, effort, and consciousness. Having functional food and proper exercise is not optional for certain people. Moreover, it should be considered a lifestyle by every people of every age.

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