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Functional Foods

What kind of materials to enrich your diet?

Functional food - food that has been fortified with substances with medicinal properties. These are the components of food products, which proved to have a positive effect on improving the health, well-being, and that reduce the risk of various diseases.

What to include functional foods?

Most often, these are:

     essential fatty acids (such as omega-3)​​;

     dietary fiber;

     sterols and stanols;

     vitamins (such as A, C, E);

     minerals (for example calcium or iron);

     probiotics and prebiotics.

Functional foods: probiotics for gut health

Big success among consumers have yogurt that has been enriched with live cultures of bacteria - probiotics.

Probiotics are living microorganisms that have beneficial effects on the mucous membranes of the digestive, respiratory and urinary tracts.

Specific probiotics have gained recognition among the different species of lactic acid bacteria (such as Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium), which facilitate digestion of proteins, carbohydrates and fats, the absorption of vitamins and minerals, as well as restore the balance of intestinal flora.

Also relieves inflammation, which are caused by bacteria, fungi (e.g. Candida) and weaken the allergic reactions.

     Caution! Universal Probiotics which are good for every occasion there and depending on the strain, the bacteria have specific properties, such as support our body's resistance or effectively regulate bowel movements.

Functional foods: fiber for better digestion

Probiotics fulfill its purpose only if we provide the body with prebiotics, which is not which makes the nutrients in digestion.

These include:

     Some proteins, peptides, lipids, oligo and polysaccharides.

The most commonly used prebiotics are inulin and oligofructose, the soluble dietary fiber fractions which are present in many plants, such as:

     tomatoes, chicory, seasons, onions, garlic, asparagus, bananas and peanuts.

The study showed that the presence of these substances in the body facilitates the absorption of calcium and magnesium from the gastrointestinal tract.

Inulin is m.n. in coffee with chicory.

Functional Foods: stanols and cholesterol

Stanols and sterols (also called phytosterols and phytostanols), lower serum cholesterol levels by partial inhibition of cholesterol absorption in the intestine.

Average consumed between 100 and 300 mg of phytosterols per day, while the daily dose, which lowers the blood cholesterol level of approximately 2 g

Therefore, if you want to take advantage of their beneficial effect is choosing products that are the rich source.

     Caution! On the market there are specially marked, margarine, yogurt, mayonnaise and even cheese sandwich.

Functional Foods: omega-3 on the heart

The most beneficial to our health are omega-3. By providing them with the diet to your body protects you against cardiovascular disease, such as atherosclerosis, heart attack or stroke.

Omega-3 acids occur naturally include:

     in marine fish and rapeseed oil.

Enriched these products include mayonnaise and milk.

Functional Foods: Fibre also lowers blood sugar

Dietary fiber provides the body makes digestion is slower, and therefore glucose more slowly and uniformly absorbed into the blood.

     Caution! In people with diabetes, dietary intake protects against sudden surges in blood sugar levels and even allows you to lower your dose of medication.

Besides fiber also lowers blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and therefore also acts protects against cardiovascular disease.

     most assimilable sources of fiber include fruits and vegetables, seeds, and legumes grown grain products such as cereal brans, muesli, brown rice, whole wheat and rye bread.

Functional Foods: What to buy?

The inclusion of functional foods to your daily diet will help you meet the demand for certain nutrients.

     Caution! But you can not treat these products as drugs. They are only to help you avoid health problems.

It often happens that manufacturers declaration of nutritional abuse, suggesting that the food has miraculous properties, which are in fact impossible to achieve.

Therefore, use common sense and above all try to eat regular meals and take care of it to your diet was rich in vegetables, fruits and whole grain products.


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