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Nutraceuticals and Functional Foods

Functional foods

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Functional foods and nutraceuticals: the secret for a better life

Food is one of the basic needs of human beings and animals, moreover, in people it represents a cultural and social part: in a wide variety of events food is at the center, not only of the table, but also of attention. As part of daily life, food plays a fundamental role in providing the body with the nutrients to develop fully in the present and to promote aging with the least amount of ailments. Different philosophies, trends and scientific lines of thought approach what they consider the proper way to eat, from which are derived ways of naming the products that are ingested, such as functional foods, a way of classifying the elements that favor the body.  

What are functional foods?

This term was created to refer to foods that, in addition to providing nutrients, offer benefits and beneficial effects, thus favoring current and future health through biologically active components. Functional foods can be natural, modified in their bioavailability or nature, the result of adding, increasing or eliminating elements or a combination of the above circumstances, what should remain is that a functional food has to comply with the following characteristic:  

  • Contains nutritional properties and favorable effects for the organism  
  • Requires to be found in foods that are consumed in an everyday diet  
  • Helps to improve the body’s health conditions 
  • Reduces and/or prevents the possibility of ailments.  
  • There should be no harmful effects from eating it  
  • Favorable consequences must be proven in the quantities consumed on a daily basis   

A relevant fact about the term functional foods is that it appeared during the 1980s in Japan. During that time, it was realized that, in order to control the costs of increased life expectancy, it was necessary to improve the population’s own quality of life, and the answer was to incorporate foods that would reduce the probability of disease and benefit health. 

Nutraceuticals and functional foods

If you have previously read about nutraceuticals, you are probably wondering what the difference is between them and functional foods, since the former also benefit health and go beyond their ability to nourish the body. The biggest difference is that the nutraceutical is the product (biological part) that is concerned with promoting health, i.e. these components are found in the functional food, the latter, on the other hand, is the actual food.  

One way of looking at the types of nutraceuticals is through their division into chemical compounds, nutrients and probiotics. On the other hand, it is possible to find functional foods classified into:  

  • Fiber-enriched foods  
  • Omega 3, oleic acid, fatty acids and phytosterols  
  • Prebiotics, synbiotics and probiotics 
  • Legumes and phytoestrogens  
  • Vegetables and fruits   

Finally, the positive contributions of functional foods and nutraceuticals are not limited to the physical part of the body, but also have an impact on mental health, for example, on mood and stress level.  

There is no doubt that, in order for the entire population to achieve the best nutrition, large industries must work to produce foods and nutraceuticals that favor the quality of life. Some people join the nutraceutical sector to develop a brand, others because they have an idea of how to solve a need, the options to join are many, what is certain is that you count on HH Processors services to formulate, manufacture, pack and bottle: the ideal ally to support your business. 

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