Functional Foods: What They Are And How They Work
In the brain, a typical protein can live for approximately ten days. The thoughts, feelings and memories of a human being are made up of what was in the stomach only a few days before. As you can see, in choosing one's diet, you actually can determine who and what you are going to become.
About 2500 years ago, Hippocrates said, "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food."
Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals are designer foods and supplements that are combined with nutritional value that are disease-preventative and have medicinal benefits. These are usually natural products which may reduce or prevent chronic and acute disease or promote good health.
Many chronic and acute diseases are caused or irritated by nutritional imbalances or deficiency. The link between diet, disease and the ability to process thought are sometimes subtle and complex. Many studies suggest that some 40% of cancers are linked to dietary choices. Unhealthy eating habits are sometimes caused by farming practices, lack of money, and a manufacturing industry that promotes the ignorance of true, beneficial nutrition.
There is conjecture and speculation in the field of Nutritional Science that mood and aggressive behavior has more to do with diet than what was first thought. The most effective way to raise neural serotonin levels, which is the chemical that helps the body relax, is to eat a high carbohydrate meal. The insulin released lets more tryptophan cross the blood-brain barrier by moving competing amino-acids out of the blood stream. A high-protein diet will tend to lessen the serotonin function at the expense of norepinephrine and dopamine, with a more aggressive and temperamental reaction from the subject.
Functional Foods and Nutraceutaicals work by balancing out the human bodies deficiencies or excessive chemical make-up. When foods are broken down in the mouth and stomach, they become massive ingredients for thousands of chemical reactions. Everything that a human consumes becomes a storehouse for chemical reactions that maintain the bodies life force. An example of this would be the cholesterol lowering effects of eating Oatmeal. How does this work? When a person consumes oatmeal, they consume carbohydrates called glucans, small fibers that fill the intestines which decreases the ability to absorb carbohydrates, it increases the movement of the food in the intestines and colon, and cleanses the body as it moves out as waste. The following would be other examples of how functional foods are working:
Erythema may be reduced by eating tomato paste ( Stahl W, Heinrich U, Wiseman S, Eichler O, Sies H, Tronnier H. J. Nutr. 131: 1449-1451, 2001 ).
Tomato and Tomato products may reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
(Sanjiv Agarwal and Akkinappally Venketeshwer Rao Canadian Medical Association Journal 2000; 163(6):739-44. )
Soy may prevent bone loss in menopausal women. (Arjmandi BH, Smith BJ Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry 2002, Vol. 13:130-137 )
Soy with isofalvones can reduce cholesterol. ( Vitolins MZ, Anthony M, Burke GL Current Opinions in Lipidology 2001, 12:433-437)
Garlic may reduce Cancer risk. (Dorant et al., 1993)
Cranberries aid in treatment of Urinary Tract Infection. (Schmidt and Sobota, 1988)
Dairy products aid in the prevention of Osteoporosis and Colon Cancer. (Fuller, 1994)
There are many, many more studies by accredited universities that have been done on a variety of plants and animals for functionality in nutritional therapies.
A diet of Functional foods can not only maintain better health, it can also repair chronic health issues. Functional foods would be foods that help to maintain better glucose control for diabetics, while having components that aid in repairing the pancreas. Foods that help to lower cholesterol levels in heart patients, foods that build the immune system in autoimmune patients.
Functional Food Specialists will be the physicians of tomorrow and those who manufacture functional foods will be the pharmacists that aid in healing the world of chronic and acute diseases.
D.S. Epperson is the top formulator for Home Blend Gourmet / South Pacific Health, a leader in the functional food industry in the U.S. With 20 years of experience in Nutritional Biochemistry, she has written reference books on botanicals and manufacturing of medicines from botanicals, and published articles on health, fitness and foods. She has formulated over 240 formulas and inventions for health, the environment and agricultural uses, and continues to research and study microbial advantages in nutraceuticals and functional foods. For more information or to view the articles that she has written: http://www.sugarblend.com
Unchaining Yourself from an Unhealthy Food Addiction
The cry of "I have no willpower!" often emerges from the consumers who jokingly surrender to their lack of will when it comes to eating something clearly unhealthy. However, scientific nutritional research has identified that something much more serious ? much more dangerous ? is often at work here. For many people, what they perceive as a harmless lack of willpower is actually an addiction an addiction to chemicals that the brain secretes in response to stimulation by certain foods, such as chocolate or cheese[i].
Eating Outside Your Box
One way to combat the boredom many people complain accompanies eating healthy is to "eat outside your box," by experimenting with new foods and cuisines and by challenging your long held notions about what to eat and when. Iceberg is not the only kind of lettuce, apples and oranges aren't the only fruits and there is no law that says you can't eat mushroom lasagna for breakfast and a southwestern omelet for dinner. And just because your parents always eat turkey on Thanksgiving, fish on Friday and meatloaf on Mondays doesn't mean you have to. Dare to step outside your comfort zone and put an end to your eating rut, by accepting one (or more) of the following challenges to eat and live more healthily and creatively.
A Healthy Diet Means Avoiding Trans-Fat as well as Saturated Fat
We all need fat in our diet on a daily basis. However, not all fats are created equal ? there are healthy fats and unhealthy fats. Many people know that monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are the healthier variety, and that saturated fats should be avoided. But did you also know about trans-fats? Read on to learn more about this unhealthy fat:
Aggressive Behaviour Seems To Be Triggered By Early Age Diet
The fact that diet directly affects behaviour is no news, on the contrary, this reality has been perceived a very long time ago, as the old saying "a man is what he eats" proves.
Startling New Evidence: You Can Slow the Aging Process, Scientists Say
What if you could actually slow your rate of aging, and live healthier longer, simply by eating certain foods? U.S. Government scientists now say it's possible.
The In-Office Emergency Nutritional Kit
Tired of having stare-downs with those boxes of Krispy Kremes, trays of brownies, and platters of cookies some well-intentioned but nutritionally clueless co-worker brings into the office? Be prepared for these and other nutritional setbacks at your office by stocking up on a few key items that will have your desk a veritable nutritional emergency kit.
WLS Patients Feeling Gassy & Bloated? Sugar Alcohol May Be To Blame
Sugar intake is a real concern for people who've had gastric bypass, in fact most patients fear sugar. The foremost fear isn't weight gain, it's dumping. Foods containing sugar pass too quickly through the small pouch, they are rapidly absorbed and cause insulin levels to drop resulting in dumping.
Bumble Bee Fish Oil - Do You Need It?
The makers of Bumble Bee Tuna generated some buzz today by announcing they will be producing a fish oil supplement with their Tuna's name on the bottle. None of the reports mention if they are using an particular standization and quality processes or what methods they are using to ensure that environmental toxins are not being concentrated into their supplement. Of course, we can't fault the reports from the nation sources for not bringing up this issue. They lack understanding of the subject and are busy trying to find "doctors" to give them quotes about a fish oil supplement being more or less effective than a name brand drug in fighting heart disease.
Five Steps to a Healthier Heart
Step 1: Eat five to ten servings per day of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Sports Nutrition Made Simple
Following these simple nutrition guidelines will allow you to lose weight, and an abundance of energy throughout the day.
Minimum Health or Maximum Health? That is the Question!
Picture yourself in one of the following scenarios.
South Beach Diet - US vs. World
Diets concern especially Americans as they do have a "national weight problem". So it would only be natural that dieting issues be so over proportioned in the US. Also, "miracle diet recipes" are very popular and make way rapidly into people's minds. This also happened with the South Beach Diet ? the diet that will not only allow you get rid of a lot of weight rapidly without starving but will also help you improve your health condition.
Tips for Effective Muscle Building Diets
One of the biggest mistakes many new bodybuilders make is that they don't pay attention to their muscle building diets with the same detail, desire and determination with which they pay attention to their weight training program.
Healing Power of 8 Sugars: An Amazing Breakthrough in Nutrition
"All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident." Arthur Schopenhauer German philosopher (1788 - 1860)
How Essential Fatty Acids Improve Your Brain Power and Mental Health
What is your brain made of
Do You Know What You Are Eating?
With all the news about Splenda of late and the FTC, I had a client ask me the other day, "so what's the deal with Splenda, it's just sugar that has been processed!". I asked him if he knew what Splenda was and he said no.
Nutrition as Attention Deficit Disorder ADHD Alternative Treatment: Help is as Close as the Kitchen
The quality of food we eat (or lack thereof) has a profound affect on Attention Deficit Disorder and ADHD. For many people, nutrition alone can effectively work as an ADHD alternative treatment.
Curbing Your Carbohydrate Addiction
Some experts consider carbohydrate craving and addiction as something more of the body than of the mind, meaning biological factors are generally considered to be the main trigger for carb cravings. These cravings are described as a compelling craving, or desire for carbohydrate-rich foods; an escalating, recurring need or drive for starches, snack foods, junk food, or sweets.
Gift of Health
People want to get the very best they can when purchasing anything.
Eating Healthy in a Time-Starved World
Americans are literally running out of time. Achieving a work-life balance, which is still a luxury for tens of millions of working parents, has been overtaken by an even greater demand: a work-life-nutrition balance. Unfortunately, this increasing demand for nutrition has not been accompanied by a useful strategy that enables people to reclaim time from their harried lives.
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