Bite Size Science: A quick analysis of Functional Foods
Lots of people have heard of superfoods at this point even if they don’t totally know what they are (fun fact: they are usually just overhyped, regular food!), but what about functional foods? 🤔
Functional foods have actually been around for a few decades now, originating in Japan in the 1980s, but they hadn’t really become “mainstream” until last year.
Unlike their better-known counterpart we just mentioned, “functional food” is a term that actually means something.
All foods are technically functional because of their inherent nutritional value, but anything deemed a functional food is any conventional — like grains and fruits — or modified foods — like yogurts, orange juice, and Journey Bites — that included additional health benefits beyond basic nutrition. 🤒 These health benefits, which are usually related to disease prevention and/or health-promotion, are gained by adding new ingredients or more of existing ingredients. 😷
Some examples are 🥔’s and 🍊 juice. Purple and gold potatoes are purposefully enriched with more carotenoids content — known to help fight cancers in the body — and orange juice is often fortified with calcium to help your bones.
So basically functional foods are everything superfoods wish they were.
Pretty cool right? (Yes)