Functional Foods

Understanding Functional Foods and Their Role in Health Promotion

Functional foods provide various health benefits to people every day.  Foods categorized as functional are deemed so because they have traits that offer specific physiological benefits that extend beyond their known nutritional value. Healthful foods have grown in popular because they promote health. The idea is that, instead of taking pharmaceuticals for health conditions, you can eat foods that contain similar ingredients to get a comparable result.  Nutrients from those foods can even be extracted and used in supplements as in the case of New Zealand green-lipped mussels (NZ GLM).

Functional Food Explained

Foods that have value-added benefits that extend beyond the nutritional are considered to be functional.  Although it is not a new concept since it has been around since its inception in Japan during the 1980’s, it has taken on renewed importance as we become more aware of what we eat or consume and how our choices impact our health. Functional foods include plant and animal sources.  Common plant sources include fruits and vegetables.  Studies show that diets rich in these foods can reduce risks associated with chronic diseases like cancer.  In addition to the normal nutritional value of fruits and vegetables, being able to prevent certain diseases is a great reason to include them in your diet.

Functional Foods from Animals

Animal food products also offer health benefits beyond their nutritional value.  Protein is usually one of the primary reasons to consume foods made from animals.  Other benefits include disease prevention and healing properties of the food.  Beef, in particular, has functional benefits because of the anticarcinogenic fatty acids found in the meat.  These fatty acids are used by the body to help prevent certain tumors from developing.  Consumption of meats may also help with weight loss.

Dairy Products

Everyone knows dairy products are rich in protein and calcium.  Certain dairy products are functional foods that can help prevent osteoporosis and other bone diseases.  There is some evidence that dairy products may lower the risk of colon cancer.  One reason that dairy products are especially functional is because they are rich in probiotics which are good bacteria.  Your body needs probiotics to keep your gastrointestinal tract healthy.  Probiotics keep the bad bacteria manageable and prevents bacteria from doing serious harm to your body.

Fish Facts

The health benefits of fish have been known for years.  They are rich in antioxidants which help fight free radicals in the body.  It is the Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish that provide the most benefits.  Your body needs these essential fatty acids but cannot produce them itself.  It is for this reason that many people start taking fish oil.  Omega-3s help prevent diseases and can improve certain health conditions including those related to the heart and brain.  But there is a better way to get your Omega-3 requirements – from New Zealand green lipped mussel supplements.

Greenshell Mussels as Functional Food

One of the most beneficial functional foods is New Zealand green lipped mussels (NZ GLM).  In addition to promoting health, supplements made from these mussels can mitigate disease.  It is not uncommon for you to experience lower costs associated with health care when you start taking supplements to improve your general health or a specific health condition. As a healthful food, greenshell mussels have been consumed by people for decades that are familiar with the mussels’ health benefits.

Functional foods are a growing trend among health-conscious individuals. Consumers like value-added benefits when they buy and eat food.  Knowing you are getting additional health benefits beyond the traditional nutrients in the food is a powerful reason to consume mussels.  New Zealand green lipped mussel (NZ GLM) supplements can be purchased today online from a trusted company whose top concern is your health and wellness!