Functional Foods

Foods that provide health benefits beyond basic nutrition are called “functional foods.”  Functional foods do more than meet your minimum daily requirements of nutrients.  They can also play roles in reducing the risk of disease and promoting good health.

Phytochemical:  Sources – Potential Health Benefit

Allylic sulfides: Garlic, chives, leeks, onions, shallots – Detoxifies; antiviral properties; offers cancer resistance

Beta-carotene: Apricots, carrots, peaches, squash – Enhances immunity; helps prevent cataracts

Catechins: Green and black teas, chocolate – Reduces risk of cancer

Diadzein: Soybeans, tofu – Prevents estrogen from binding to receptors; has anticancer potential

Ellagic acid: Blackberries, cranberries, grapes, strawberries, walnuts – Provides antioxidants

Genistein: Tofu, soymilk, soybeans – Inhibits tumor growth; protects against heart disease

Isothiocyanates: Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, kale, cabbage, cauliflower) – Reduces risk of cancer

Lutein: Spinach, collard greens, kale – Promotes against age-related eye disease; decreases risk of lung disease

Lycopene: Tomatoes, kiwifruit – Reduces risk of prostate cancer

Monoterpenes: Orange and citrus oils, kale – Slows growth of cancer cells

Omega-3 fatty acids: Fish oil (mackerel, salmon, trout) – Reduces risk of heart disease

Proanthocyanidins: Cranberries, cranberry products, cocoa, chocolate – Improves urinary tract health; reduces risk of cardiovascular disease

Resveratrol: Grapes, red wine, peanuts – Lowers blood pressure and risk of heart disease

Saponins: Soybeans, soy foods – Helps to lower LDL cholesterol; controls blood sugars; prevents cancer

Zeaxanthin: Arugula, collards, horseradish, yellow corn, mustard, sorrel – Provides antioxidants; boosts immune function

One Response to “Functional Foods”

  1. Christopher Songco December 8, 2011 at 3:53 pm #

    This really is why it is so important to start paying attention to our levels of cholesterol by maintaining a healthy pounds, keeping an exercise regime to strengthen your center, avoiding foods which are high in saturated fat and trans weight and following a at a diet that includes many low-cholesterol foods for example fruits, veggies, whole grains (like breads and cereals), legumes (beans), and fish. When you eat more of these carbohydrate-rich meals, you will eat less of the meals higher in fat and ldl cholesterol.

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