Importance of Functional Foods in your Diet Plan for Weight Loss
Balanced Diet plan for Weight Loss is incomplete without the incorporation correct functional foods
A healthy diet plan for weight loss includes all the necessary nutrients required by your body within the limits of your daily calorie intake. It is found that certain food and food components have beneficial physiological and psychological effects except from that of providing nutrients.Such foods are called as Functional foods.
Functional food is food which is given an additional function (often one related to health-promotion or disease prevention) by adding new ingredients or more of existing ingredients. A food is termed functional because it contains a high amount of Phytochemicals and have been found to boost health.
Phytochemcials are available in large quantities in whole grains, soy food, parsley, garlic and ginger, among other vegetables. The presence of antioxidants in some food is another reason why it can be termed ‘functional’. These antioxidants work to destroy harmful particles in the blood that can lead to heart problems and other complications. In addition, they also have immunity boosters, which are useful in building one’s immunity. Thus its important to include such foods in your diet plan for weight loss.
The functional food industry, is one of the several areas of the food industry that is experiencing tremendous growth in the recent years. According to a BCC Research, in 2013, the global market of functional food industry reached 176.7 billion with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.4%.
Some of the most easily available functional foods, which can be incorporated in your diet plan for weight loss include:
Oats are a widely studied dietary source of the cholesterol-lowering soluble fiber b-glucan. Today, there is a significant scientific agreement that consumption of this particular plant food in your diet plan for weight loss can reduce total and low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, thereby reducing the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD).
Soya plays a preventive and therapeutic role in cardiovascular disease (CVD), cancer, osteoporosis, and the alleviation of menopausal symptoms.
- Flax Seeds
Consumption of flaxseeds has also been shown to reduce total and LDL cholesterol as well as platelet aggregation.
A substance called lycopene in tomatoes is the most efficient quencher of singlet oxygen in biological systems. The antioxidant function of lycopene may also reduce the risk for myocardial infarction.
Health benefits of garlic are numerous, including cancer chemo-preventive, antibiotic, antihypertensive, and cholesterol-lowering properties, thus making it important be included in your diet plan for weight loss.
Consumption of cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli reduces the risk of cancer because of their relatively high content of glucosinolate, which is useful in fighting cancer.
- Citrus Fruits
Citrus fruits are protective against a variety of human cancers. The components responsible for anticancer activities are called limonoids, found in abundance in citrus fruits.
Cranberry juice is extremely effective in treating Urinary Tract Infections. Moreover, research shows that cranberries even contain substances that prevent infection-causing bacteria from sticking to the urinary tract walls.
Tea consumption has been a major source of flavonoid and therefore, tea consumption helps reduce the risk of CVD.
- Grapes and wine
Grape juice is effective in inhibiting the oxidation of LDL. Red wine is also a significant source of trans-resveratrol that has estrogenic properties for cardiovascular benefits.
We can’t emphasize enough on the positive effect of functional foods on your health if included in your diet plan for weight loss. At the same time, please remember that functional foods may help promote wellness, but they can’t make up for poor eating habits.