There is no such particular definition of “Functional food” or “Superfood”. It has numerous health benefits and role in body function. Superfood also has natural active ingredients with medicinal property. They are usually considered to be the nutrient powerhouse rich in Anti-oxidant, Vitamins, Minerals and Phytochemicals. These nutrient dense foods are helpful in reducing the risk of chronic disease and certain infection. These foods aids in the enhancement of the quality of life. Usually Superfoods are plant-based food, but it might be dairy or fish also. These nutrient dense foods are good for over-all health and to boost immune system.
Healthy Superfoods are needed to be taken on daily basis and in a balanced manner with other food. Eating a particular food item is not bad, that provides you a good amount of certain vitamins or minerals that you need, but your body also needs other vitamins and minerals as well to function properly, so don’t rely on one superfood alone to achieve your nutrition. The fiber content of these foods is helpful in reducing chronic constipation problem, acid reflux, hemorrhoids, blood sugar and cholesterol level. Anti-oxidant rich foods are also helpful in scavenging free radical in the body. Free radicals are also known as Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS). Free radicals are the waste product, produced by cells during different chemical reaction inside the cells and to react to the external environment. If the body is not being able to efficiently remove the free radicals, it causes Oxidative Stress. Some of the process that is responsible to cause oxidative stress is smoking, mitochondrial activity, external environment, radiation, tissue trauma, industrial solvent, etc.
Oxidative Stress is linked to stroke, cancer, arthritis, Parkinson’s diseases, and cardiovascular problem. Superfoods are also rich in healthy fat, that not only heart healthy, but also when you consume make you feel full and will put a break in your next meal. Certain nutrients are also required for your unborn child and infants for their proper growth and development. Like, folic acid is required for the development of the spinal cord and the neural tube of the unborn child. Some of the superfood is rich in protein content. Proteins help in repair and build of the tissue. Enzymes are the protein which have role in digestion, muscle contraction, blood clotting.
Immunoglobulin or antibodies are also proteins that are required to fight infection. Furthermore, eating protein rich food helps to cut down appetite. They help to improve immune system, support eye health, helps to look younger. Phytochemicals in superfood give flavor, aroma and color to the plant-based food. Eating colorful food has numerous benefits for health. Some of the prominent phytochemicals are Carotenoids, Flavonoids, Anthocyanin, Lutein and zeaxanthin. They reduce inflammation, slows down the growth of the cancer cells, helps to regulate hormones, helps to lower blood pressure, enhances the power of immune system to fight infection, protects from cellular and DNA damage.
PARTICULAR FUNCTION OF SUPERFOODS ARE:-
- Assist in recovery from diseases
- Slows down the aging process
- Boost the immune system
- Support physical and mental disorder
- Helps in prevention of specific diseases