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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


MORE RESOURCES:

USDA Awards Grants for Nutrition Education Programs in Tribal Communities
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GREEN BAY, Wis., April 15, 2014 - Agriculture Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has awarded over $700,000 in grants to support nutrition education programs for participants of USDA's Food ...

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Practical Nutrition: Balance Easter candy calories with other treats
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More from Mary-Jo · Mary-Jo Sawyer · Read more advice from Mary-Jo Sawyer, a registered dietitian with VCU Medical Center, who shares nutrition information and recipe advice on TimesDispatch.com.

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Studey: Nutrition linked to aggression
StarNewsOnline.com
The authors argue that loss of self-control is a contributing factor to aggression between intimate partners, and that self-control is linked to nutrition. "Self-control requires energy, and that energy is provided in part by glucose," wrote lead study ...



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St. James Parish President Timmy Roussel has no plans to put a tax proposal back on the ballot to build a kitchen for parish social service programs unless the public asks for one after a similar tax failed by one vote April 5. The proposed Nutrition ...

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Birthday cupcakes exempt from nutrition guidelines
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kayhi. Last week, the Ketchikan School Board adopted new student nutrition and physical activity guidelines, but only after inserting a “cupcake clause.” The nutrition guidelines are part of the federal school lunch program's standards, but reach ...



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Since the purchase of the Sil-All® range of forage inoculants in 2011, Lallemand Animal Nutrition's team of forage experts have developed a new product formulation in the United States to best meet the needs of today's producers. "The rollout of this ...



Benefits of Alkaline-Forming Nutrition
U.S. News & World Report (blog)
Although it's often overlooked, the foods you eat – and how they affect your body's pH – can impact a variety of health issues, from sleep to bone health to body composition. If you want to thrive, your body's pH level matters. By adding more alkaline ...



Cook of the Week: Elgin lunch lady balances nutrition, treats
Chicago Daily Herald
Blame it on her job, but Christina is also very concerned about nutrition. "Working at the schools has really opened my eyes and has influenced me in my cooking at home. I'm eating a lot of brown rice," she laughs. Christina is an avid vegetable gardener.



Locally in Business: R3 Nutrition Center aims to get people moving
Fremont News Messenger
FREMONT — Before Ed Farson opened R3 Nutrition Center, 201 S. Front Street, three years ago he said he was overweight and had low energy. But through his business, programs and products he offers, Farson said he has not only been able to change his ...

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Senior nutrition
Superior Telegram
Senior Connections offers hot, nutritious meals Monday-Friday for people 60 or older. A $4 contribution is requested per meal but no one is denied because of inability to pay. Call 715-394-3611 or 800-870-2181. Next week's menu includes: Advertisement.
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