Functional Food-A Food With Additional Health Benefits

Akansha Khare, Department Of Life Sciences, Graphic Era Deemed To Be University, Dehradun, India

2019-11-15 09:28:57



A functional food is a typical food that has a specific nutrient added to it, like vitamins or minerals, fibers or probiotics. In general, functional foods are food having additional functions by adding new ingredients or more of existing ingredients. They are foods that have a potentially positive effect on health beyond basic nutrition. It prevents and reduces the risk of many diseases. 1980s, the Japanese government created a class of "functional foods"  conventional and modified foods that included additional health benefits beyond basic nutrition. Although the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or FDA, regulates foods labeled as functional, it does not provide a legal definition of the term.

It is a natural or processed food that contains known biologically active compounds which when in defined quantitative and qualitative amounts of provides a clinically proven documented health benefit. They include processed foods or fortified food with health promoting additives like vitamin enriched products.

Functional foods may include:

  • Conventional foods such as grains, fruits, vegetables and nuts.
  • Modified foods such as yogurt, cereals and orange juice.


Tomatoes are most commonly consumed fresh Vegetables The increasing consumption of tomato reduces the risk for both cardio vascular diseases and prostate cancer. Tomato contains phytochemical content and it also contains lycopene and N-methyl-N-nitrosourea.


“Mango our super functional food"

Mango is very good for clearing up skin, promotes eye health, staves off diabetes and prevents from formation and spreading of cancer. Mango recently added to functional food status which have in addition to the food value, therapeutic value too. It also helps to regulates the blood sugar level. Mango also contains a complex mixture of polyphenolic compounds. It decreases inflammation and high cholesterol. It contains most of the thousands of anti-oxidants.


Probiotics is emerging as food category supplement as around the earth regulations of probiotics are important for both consumer and nutrition professional. Most probiotic products contain lactic acid which produced by bacteria.


Almonds, pista, walnuts and hazelnuts are commonly used nuts which protect the body from cardiovascular diseases. They contain rich source of high-biological value protein bio-active peptides, functional fatty acids, fiber, phytosterols, polyphenols tocopherols and other antioxidant, vitamins, oleic acid and anti-inflammatory effect and linoleic acid.


Barley has high acceptance in human nutrition. Barley grain is used as feed, malt and food. Barley played an important role in the origin and development of barley is beta-gluten which is a major component of soluble fiber implicated in hyper cholesterolmenia hypoglycemia.


Oats is recently added to functional food due to high content of beta glucan and antioxidant. Soluble fibers which perform important role in digestive tract soluble fibers are mainly polysaccharides and oligosaccharides.

Cereal Based Fermented Functional Food

Fermentation is one of the oldest technologies for preserving food. During process of fermentation the flavor enhancing compounds useful enzymes and essential amino acids are produced, some microbes during antimicrobial. Products to safe and storing purpose of food. Example of some fermented food Idli, dosa, dhokla, adai and vada, jalebi, soy sauces etc.

Omega 3 Enriched Egg

The most common functional poultry products are meat and eggs with increased content of desirable omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E, selenium and carotenoids. Poultry meat is rich in protein and low in fat. Hen’s egg contains omega-3 fatty acids.


The fish must be chosen as one of the important functional food among improve functional food among . Fish contain components that can and even reduces the risk of diseases like heat diseases, cancer, diabetics, dementia, osteoporosis, lupus, arthritis, chronic and inflammatory diseases. Because fish is the rich sources of protein, vitamins, lipids, minerals, nutritional value and antioxidant. Fish is also necessary for growth development, maintenance and optimum health.


Garlic has both food and medicinal properties. Garlic inhibits the growth of pathogens and remedy treatment of prevention of a number of diseases. It contains anticarcinogenic, antibiotics, antihypertensive, and cholesterol lowering properties. Antimicrobial, antimutagenic, prebiotics activities. Garlic is rich in fructooligosaccharides type of probiotics.


Turmeric is the spice of saffron like color it is used as the religious and traditional medicine. It acts as an anti-inflammatory and powerful antioxidant. It heals the body cell very fast.

Functional food offers great potential to improve health and help to prevent certain diseases when taken as part of balanced diet and healthy lifestyle. Thus, a functional food for one consumer act as a nutraceutical for another consumer. Many food products containing components with health benefits one being incorporated with many other beneficial components for desirable physiological change.