Functional foods are trending because they often work. Science has shown us over and over again the health benefits of a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, seeds, and nuts, or more specifically the phytochemicals nutrients found in these foods. And science is also discovering what thousands of years of herbal medicine across cultures have known: herbs have powerful effects on the body, and can be healing agents. High-quality functional foods bridge the gap between a highly beneficial ingredient and the person who doesn’t want to or doesn’t know how to take herbs like ginkgo biloba. This is why we are seeing products like mushroom chocolate and gummies with B vitamins; they can be effective and they are meeting a direct consumer need for better health.
Not all functional food products are created equal. Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as choosing a product with functional food or ingredient on the label. Many times products are “pixie-dusted”, which means they contain trace or negligible amounts of the functional ingredient. Other times the product won’t contain an absorbable, or usable form of the functional food. One example of this is turmeric. The active compound of turmeric, curcumin, is notoriously difficult to absorb since it’s fat-soluble, and human digestion is water-based.
Functional foods are all the rage these days. You’ve likely seen these words on products in the grocery store or being advertised online. Many of these products come with promises of better health and claim to solve problems like low energy, poor libido, high stress, anxiety, depression, and sleeplessness. So, what makes a food functional? The Mayo Clinic defines functional food as “…foods that have a potentially positive effect on health beyond nutrition.”.
If you’ve joined the throngs of people enjoying functional candy, that is candy with added nutritional supplements like herbs and vitamins, you may be wondering if you need your daily vitamin pill. Taking a daily supplement might be more difficult to remember than eating some yummy candy. And, if your functional candy has vitamins and minerals, are you getting too much nutrition if you still take your daily multi? In this article, we’ll address both of those questions, along with comparing functional candy to vitamins, and what vitamins and supplements are commonly found in functional candy.
Functional food is all over the news these days, with proponents touting their health-saving benefits. Or maybe you’ve heard about the rising trend of functional candy, which is part of the functional foods movement. This trend has likely piqued your interest because you know that healthy foods are part of a healthy lifestyle and you’re likely looking for ways to snack more healthfully. Functional foods meet the rising desire of consumers to be more health-conscious by eating healthier foods. In this article, we’ll discuss what functional foods are, and why people choose functional foods. We’ll also look at three popular functional categories: candy, whole foods, and gummies. Yes, gummies have their own category.