FUNCTIONAL FOODS: ITS ROLE IN PREVENTION OF NON-COMMUNICABLE DISEASES
Labonya Mandal and *Dolan Das
There has been a shift in the pattern of diseases afflicting mankind owing to rapid changes in food habit, life style and environment. Globalization has led to the prevalence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) like cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack and strokes, diabetes, obesity, chronic respiratory diseases, etc. They are often termed „lifestyle diseases‟. Food has been recognized as one of the major factor in the emergence of a variety of diseases and there is a growing demand for food that helps prevent disease, boost mental health, and improve the quality of life. A concept of „functional foods‟ has emerged which are foods and food components that supply health benefits further than basic nutritional needs. Most of these functional foods are of plant origin and some are of fermented products of microbes. Functional foods contain many bioactive compounds which have significant health promoting effects. They have the capacity to scavenge free radicals and show synergistic effects contributing to anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, anti-mutagenic, anti-tumour and neuroprotective properties. This review will throw some light that how by choosing our daily dietary pattern we can prevent NCDs and promote health, maintain metabolic homeostasis, and fulfil energy requirements.
Keywords: Functional foods, Non-communicable diseases, Bioactive components, Dietary supplements, Plant foods.
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