The functional food is, in fact any food that is proven to be able to improve the health condition and prevent different diseases. It is because these foods are rich in so-called biologically active ingredients, which are also known as the under the name of phytochemicals. These foods are most common in fruits, vegetables and various herbs.
For example, one of the functional groceries is garlic. It is rich in sulphur, which is the ingredient that is believed to lower the risk of suffering from the cancerous conditions. It is especially effective in preventing the cancer of the stomach and the colon cancer in the elderly female population, as the latest researches have shown.
Also, the well known characteristic of garlic is that it cleans the cholesterol out of the blood and that is the way, by consuming it regularly, one could minimize the risk of getting some severe heart-related disease. But, the best way to prepare it, is to press it right after getting off the peel, and then wait for five minutes before consuming it, so that the beneficial substances of garlic could be maintained.
The similar effect the soy has on the organism. It lowers the level of the cholesterol in the blood and plays a role in the prevention of cancer. But, soy has very beneficial effect in treating the problems of the menopause and osteoporosis. Soy is very valuable because it is rich in number of the substances which are anti carcinogens from some reason. Those are phytosterols, protease inhibitors, saponins, isoflavones, phytic acid and phenolic acids.
Also, soy prevents successfully the cancers that are related to the disrupted level of the estrogen hormone. Not to forget the power of soy to tranquilize the negative effects of menopause, especially in dealing with the problems such as the sweating during the night period and the general hot flashes. And, finally, soy is very beneficial for strengthening the bones, or to be more precise, in increasing their density and the enrichment of the bones with minerals.
The healthiest ingredient of tomatoes, called Lycopene, also deals with a lot of types of cancer successfully.
In the prevention of cancer, but in minimizing the risk of cardiovascular diseases too, the Flax seeds are very powerful functional food. Also, the similar effect on the organism that has increased intake of the green tea.
But, when it comes to the heart-related diseases, the most beneficial foods are those that are rich in omega 3 fatty acids (e.g. fish) because they lower the cholesterol level. Besides those acids, it is good to consume wine and the juice from grapes.
In the conclusion, it is good to mention the other functional foods. For example, for detoxification it is good to eat broccoli and cauliflower, for good digestion – yogurt, for other tumors recommendable are the citrus fruits, and so on…