It's no news that eating nutritious food improves our health, you surely knew that already right? But there are specific types of food that present other properties different than the existing macro nutrients: protein, carbohydrates, and fat.
What is functional food?
In short, functional food is food that has disease-preventive and health-promoting benefits in additional to their nutritive value. The term was first introduced in the early 1980s by the Japanese government and refers to any type of food that has a positive impact on someone's health, including physical and mental health. There are a few characteristics that certain food need to have in order to call them functional:
- It's food (not tablets)
- It can be consumed as part of out daily diet
- Has a function, when eaten, in the body
Some of these functions include prevention or recovery from some diseases, slow aging, control of physical and mental disorders etc. Superfoods, for example, are named after their ability to improve overall health thanks to their properties. Superfoods are the perfect example of functional food. In fact, there are some studies that support that the beneficial properties of functional food combats cancer, coronary heart disease, diabetes, hormone imbalance, inflammation, ulcers, and aging to name a few. Another reason to believe that food truly is medicine.