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Five Functional Foods You May Consider for Your Kitchen

2019-07-04 09:18 Thursday

With more and more frequency, medical professionals are hopeful that people to actively turn to diet as a method for disease prevention and improving their overall health and wellbeing. Eating more whole foods is a good start to a healthy dietary structure but adding functional foods (and functional ingredients) to your diet can set you on a path toward incredible health benefits.


The term functional foods may make you think of another trendy word, superfoods, but functional foods are much more than simply a marketing tactic. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics defines functional foods as “having a potentially beneficial effect on health when consumed as part of a varied diet on regular basis at effective levels based on significant standards of evidence.” You may not know it, but more than likely you already have many functional foods in your kitchen. Here we will discuss some less-known functional foods that can work miracles for both your body and mind.

Bitter Melon

While it may come as no surprise to Asian foodies having been enjoyed for centuries already, bitter melon is only just recently becoming more popular in the kitchens of American and European chefs. The health benefits of bitter melon have long been recognized in both traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicines for their anti-aging benefits including reducing blood sugar and assisting in weight loss. A 2008 study published in a journal of Chemistry & Biology found that compounds in bitter melon activate the same enzymes triggered by exercise and can also calm digestive worries and potentially even fight cancer.


The omega-3 fatty acid content of fish cannot be denied, but sustainable sardines are a top choice when it comes to getting a daily dose of these brain-boosting nutrients as well as loads of vitamin B12. Here’s a little tip – buy sardines that are canned with their bones! Sardines canned with their bones contain almost twice as much calcium as when they're deboned. These tiny bones are soft and are completely edible. contents of article

Beet Sauerkraut

Fermented foods are extremely popular, and it’s not difficult to understand why. Naturally rich in probiotics, these foods can assist in repopulating the gut microbiome with necessary healthy bacteria, easing digestion and even improving cognition and emotional wellbeing. Popular fermented foods such as kimchi and sauerkraut have been on our radars for a while now, a red sauerkraut made with beets adds another functional food to the mix. Rich in fiber and folate, beets also boast pigments called betalains, which, according to a 2014 study published in Mediators of Inflammation, may also have anti-inflammatory properties. Since chronic inflammation can be tied to various health problems from anxiety to metabolic disease to cancer, adding some anti-inflammatory foods like red beets to your diet is always a great idea.


Recently listed by Whole Foods as a top food trend for 2019, seaweed is rich in essential vitamins and minerals, including some that can be difficult to find in plant-based foods, such as vitamin B12 and omega-3 fatty acids. There are a variety of seaweed options on the market, so try a few and decide which suits your tastes.


Kale and spinach have received a lot of attention in recent years, but arugula should be recognized as well. This peppery salad green is much more than your typical lettuce. Belonging to the same family as cabbage and broccoli, arugula has many of the same health benefits. Rich in cancer-fighting glucosinolates and brain-boosting folate, arugula is an absolute dynamo for good health.

Interested in the global functional food industry? There are a number of functional and health food summits happening in the near future. The 3rd Global Nutrition and Wellness Forum will be held November 18-19, 2019, with the goal of educating participants on the industry’s market environment, including valuable information on market entry and cross-border e-commerce. This will enable companies to pursue optimal business strategies that reflect a deep understanding of the functional food market and the nature of product development. The summit will also provide opportunities for delegates to establish business relations and to find global partners for further collaboration.

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