What science is behind functional food's health claims?

This article will explore the world of functional food and its potential benefits for health. As a dietitian and nutritionist, I aim to provide you with scientifically-backed insights about these often-claimed "superfoods." Learn why functional foods are so important. You will also learn how to include them in your diet.

Understanding functional foods is important

Functional foods are those which have a positive impact on the health of a person beyond nutrition. Functional foods have health benefits beyond nutrition, and can reduce the risk of disease as well as promote good health. Understanding functional foods is important because they can prevent disease and promote optimal health.

A study in the Journal of Food Science found that certain functional foods, such as oats or barley, can lower LDL levels and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Not all functional food claims are supported. When choosing functional foods, it's important to choose those based on research and not marketing claims.

Get Started With Functional Foods

It's important to keep in mind that functional foods should not be substituted for a healthy diet. They are meant to complement it. Begin by selecting functional foods which align with your preferences and dietary requirements. If you are lactose-intolerant, yogurts with probiotics may be the best option for you.

According to research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, fortified food, such as orange juice that has been added with calcium, may also be considered functional. Always consider the total nutrient content of the food and not only the components or added nutrients.

Foods that are Functional and their Benefits

Additions to the Tips on Using Functional Foods

Functional foods are a great addition to a healthy diet. Do not rely on only functional foods to improve your health. Instead, consider the benefits of moderation and variety. Consider preparing food in a way that retains its nutritional value - steaming rather than boiling vegetables can help to preserve more nutrients.


Science is constantly evolving and expanding to support the claims made by functional foods. They offer a variety of health benefits, ranging from the reduction of disease to overall wellbeing. Incorporating a wide variety of foods, from blueberries to garlic, into a balanced diet will improve your overall health.