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Functional Foods

What are functional foods?

Functional foods are foods that help you fight diseases and maintain your health besides providing essential nutrients. Examples include fruits and vegetables, whole grains, fortified produce and few dietary supplements. The following are few types scientifically classified as functional foods:

  • Carrots, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, spinach and tomatoes: rich in beta-carotene: prevent cell damage
  • Oats: rich in beta-glucan: may reduce risk of coronary heart disease
  • Tea, cocoa, chocolate, apples and grapes: rich in flavanols: maintain a healthy heart
  • Sardines, spinach, yogurt, low-fat dairy products, calcium fortified foods and beverages: rich in calcium: reduce your risk of developing osteoporosis
  • Soybeans: rich in isoflavones: increase your immunity, maintain healthy bones and good brain functioning
  • Citrus fruits: rich in vitamin C, folate, and fiber: increase your immunity and protect you from cancer
  • Fish, walnuts, flaxseeds, flaxseed oil: rich in omega 3: may reduce risk of coronary heart disease and good brain functioning
  • Psyllium seed husk, peas, beans, and whole grains; rich in fibers: reduce the risk of colon cancer and coronary heart disease

Always remember that you don’t need to take dietary supplements to maintain your health; you just need to have a well-balanced diet varied in many food groups.