Understand what functional foods are and see the main compounds and foods that are being studied and what are their benefits.

People have become more concerned and aware of their diet. Terms such as organic and low carb become more and more common.

Another terminology that has gained prominence in recent years is that of functional food.

But do you know what functional foods are?

To clarify this doubt, as well as knowing which foods can be introduced in the food routine, in today’s post we will talk about this type of food.

Functional foods are foods or ingredients that produce beneficial health effects, in addition to their basic nutritional functions. For this reason, functional foods are characterized by offering several health benefits, in addition to the nutritional value inherent to their chemical composition, and can play a potentially beneficial role in reducing the risk of chronic degenerative diseases, such as cancer and diabetes, among others.

Thus, a functional diet is based on the consumption of fresh and natural foods, which have two functions: to nourish and protect the body from disease.

However, it is necessary to bear in mind that such functional foods do not have the role of acting as medicines and are not a substitute for conventional treatments. In addition, in order for the benefits present in functional foods to materialize, it is necessary to maintain a balanced and balanced diet.

For example, it is useless to consume a certain food to help control cholesterol if the person does not maintain a diet restrictive in relation to saturated fat.

Some examples of compounds and functional foods for you to introduce in your routine:

Isaflavones

This compound has an estrogenic action and helps to reduce the symptoms of menopause and helps prevent some types of cancer. It can be found in soy and its derivatives.

Soy proteins

They help to reduce cholesterol levels and can be found in soy and its derivatives.

Omega 3

They help to reduce LDL cholesterol (the famous “bad cholesterol”), it has anti-inflammatory action. In the case of newborns, it helps the development of the brain and retina. Omega 3 can be found in sardines, salmon, tuna, among other fish.

Lycopene

It has an antioxidant function, in addition to reducing cholesterol levels and the risk of some types of cancer. It can be found in tomatoes, guava, watermelon, among others.

Flavonoids

They help to reduce cancer activity, in addition to having vasodilator, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant functions. They can be found in soy, citrus fruits, tomatoes, among others.

Probiotics – bifidobacteria and lactobacilli

They favor gastrointestinal functions, reducing the risk of constipation and colon cancer. They can be found in fermented milks, yogurts and other fermented dairy products.

What other functional foods can I add to my routine?

Linseed

Flaxseed is considered a functional food because it has substances beneficial to health, such as omega-3, lignans and isoflavones. Thus, flaxseed has a phytohormonal, antioxidant and hypocholesterolemic action, with a protective effect against osteoporosis and breast cancer.

Green juice

Green juice is obtained from the combination of leafy vegetables, such as kale, watercress, arugula and spinach, in addition to citrus fruits, such as orange and lemon. Green juices also receive the addition of foods said to have functional properties, such as ginger, flaxseed, chia, among others. The combination of vegetables and fruits in the juice favors increased consumption of fibers, vitamins, minerals, antioxidant and bioactive substances, naturally present in all fruits and vegetables. Regarding the recommendation of fasting green juice consumption to favor the absorption of nutrients, as well as enhancing its slimming effect.

Quinoa

Quinoa is a source of minerals, such as calcium, potassium and magnesium; vitamins C, E and B1; fibers; fatty acids and essential amino acids; in addition to having compounds such as polyphenols, phytosterols and flavonoids. The phenolic derivatives present in quinoa are natural antimicrobial agents and antioxidants, reducing the amount of free radicals. In turn, polyphenols have proven health benefits, preventing diseases, such as cancer and cardiovascular diseases, in addition to improving immunity.

See guys that it is easy to have a diversified, healthy diet and still obtain several benefits for your health and well-being!

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