Functional Foods: Gimmick or Fact?
There has been much discussion lately about “Functional Foods," with new products claiming endless health benefits being blasted into social media and throughout the grocery aisle.
But what are “Functional Foods”?
Functional foods are foods that have a potentially positive affect on health beyond basic nutrition. Oatmeal, for example, is a functional food because it contains soluble fiber that can help lower cholesterol levels.
The most basic functional foods are whole foods that are rich in important nutrients like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and heart-healthy fats. Foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds.
Foods that include added supplements or adaptogens are also considered “Functional." For example, the addition of folate to breakfast cereals or calcium-enriched orange juice.
Now, adaptogens are things like non-toxic herbs, roots, and fungi that “adapt” the body’s ability to repel stressors. Ancient herbal medicine has a long history of using plants and herbs in this way.
What adaptogens on the market today don’t promise, however, is that they aren’t synthetic or cultivated, as opposed to being found in the wilds of nature. Even if they claim to be organic. Unfortunately, the supplement industry is not regulated by the FDA in the same way the food industry is.
At Patterbar, we believe that fruits, nuts, and seeds are the very definition of function. Just as nature intended.