When adding good health to your shopping list, remember this quote by Hippocrates: "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food."
While there is no “magic” food that can easily solve a complex health problem, there are many common, everyday foods that can repair damage from the normal aging process, environmental pollutants, smoking, and poor dietary habits.
The great news? These functional foods are all found within the grocery store or market.
Start with the produce section. The variety of colors in fresh fruits and vegetables may indicate the foods are high in antioxidants, which help heal and protect the body from free radicals. A few of these functional foods high in antioxidants include:
Beyond the produce aisle, it’s important to know how to choose healthy grains as you peruse the aisles. Not all grains are created equal, and over-processed grains can contribute to health issues rather than help. Some sources of healthy grains include:
Like healthy grains, healthy fats are an essential part of a balanced diet. Not all fats are created equal. Healthy fats include:
Unexpected functional foods include:
Now that you have all these power foods in your cart, easily incorporate them into your diet by making simple changes at each meal:
Breakfast: Add berries to cereal or yogurt. Add berries to oatmeal for a way to incorporate two functional food choices.
Lunch: Add a functional food to staple dishes. For example, top a sandwich with spinach and tomatoes. For salads: add strawberries and broccoli or asparagus. Try an olive oil based dressing such as olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic.
Dessert: Good news! Functional foods can even fit into this category. Strawberries and dark chocolate are great options.
Gordon Food Service customers: the recipes below are great ways to include functional foods within the diet.