lesson 18

lesson 18 - Functional food defined Functional foods...

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Functional food - defined Functional foods, sometimes called nutraceuticals, are refining the boundaries between what is defined as a food, a drug, or a dietary supplement, and how all these are being used to maintain health. A term applied to the functional component is ‘bioactive compound’. Bioactive compounds are the naturally occurring chemical compounds contained in, or derived from, a plant, animal or marine source, that exert the desired health/ wellness benefit ( e.g. omega-3 fatty acids in flax or fish oils and beta-glucans from oats and barley). Let’s review a few of these functional foods and their bioactive components. On an exam you will be responsible for knowing just what makes something like broccoli healthy to consume! So, let’s start with broccoli. Broccoli, onions and garlic Broccoli may be one of the most powerful of all cancer fighting foods. Broccoli contains the bioactive compound sulforaphane which triggers the body to produce enzymes that block carcinogen damage of DNA. Sulforaphane targets the promoter region and triggers synthesis of the enzyme glutathione transferase. Research has shown that rats fed sulforaphane developed less cancer, and cancerous tumors that did develop grew more slowly compared to control rats where sulforaphane was omitted from the diet. And if broccoli is healthful, then broccoli sprouts are even better. Researchers at John’s Hopkins University showed that 3-day old broccoli sprouts (sprouted broccoli seeds) have 20 to 50 times the cancer-fighting power of mature plants. But sprouted seeds like alfalfa seeds have been liked to several outbreaks for foodborne illness, so if you are looking for sulforaphane, choose the mature plant instead. Onions and garlic contain active sulfur compounds that inhibit cancer cell proliferation. They may also help lower cholesterol and protect against heart disease. Active sulfur compounds are released when garlic or onions are chopped or sliced. Allin Allinase (makes you tear) Lachrymatory Compound -- Reduce discomfort by chilling the onion before cutting or clicing under running water Soybeans Soybeans are an excellent source of phytoestrogens. Phytoestrogens are plant compounds known as isoflavone that resemble the female hormone estrogen. Tofu, soy milk, and soybeans are all good sources of isoflavones. Phytoestrogens crowd-out estrogen from breast and ovarian tissue and help prevent the development of breast and ovarian cancers. Tea – White, green, red or black – and chocolate Tea contains healthy plant chemicals known as catechins. The less oxidation of the leaves, the greater the concentration of catechins in the final beverage. Action of the enzyme polyphenol oxidase darkens the leaves and converts the catechins to biologically inactive theaflavins. Tea is also a good source of Flouride. Catechins
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This document was uploaded on 10/08/2008.

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lesson 18 - Functional food defined Functional foods...

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