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The trend of functional foods, which emerged in the 80s in South Korea and is becoming more popular in these times in Europe and the United States, is based on incorporating into the diet foods that, in addition to their basic nutritional objectives, have a positive effect on our health. It is not for fun that it is said that "an apple is healthy every day" and that it is possible to prevent diseases or eradicate them with the help of what we eat.
Now, if you want to enrich your diet with functional foods, you should do it with caution, being well informed and taking into account that these can help you, but they will never fill the nutritional gap caused by a poor diet.
In addition to foods that have always been considered healthy, in many cases the so-called functional foods are the product of a way of processing them or of certain substances that are added or eliminated, such as juices enriched with vitamins or minerals. The term "functional foods" has also become a marketing tool, so you must pay attention and distinguish between products that are advertised with much fanfare and those that can really protect you. At the moment there is no official definition of what functional foods are, but the FDA does regulate manufacturers' claims about the content of their products and their health effects.
Natural functional foods
• Fruits and vegetables: Antioxidants that reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease. Flavonoids are found in brightly colored fruits; while carrot, spinach and other vegetables are rich in carotenoids. Broccoli and cauliflower are anticancer. Garlic and onion help eliminate toxins.
• Fish: Source of omega 3 fatty acids, which reduce inflation that damages blood vessels. It also helps regulate blood pressure.
• Beans, nuts, flaxseed: Another way to obtain omega 3 and dietary fiber to prevent colon conditions.
• Yogurt: A calcium mine with numerous benefits. In addition to preventing osteoporosis, the bacteria it contains contribute to digestive and immune health.
• Red wine: Excellent protection against diabetes, obesity and heart disease, thanks to its flavonoid and resveratrol content … but you should take it in moderation, excess alcohol can be harmful.
• Green tea: Contains powerful antioxidants that help regulate cholesterol.