Functional food

2016-09-22

Interest in functional food – food which optimises the body's functions – is growing by leaps and bounds. We got in touch with Anneli Hallberg, cook, health coach and personal trainer, who tells us more about how we can feel better.

The term 'FUNCTIONAL FOOD' was coined in Japan during the 1980s. In a word, it means eating food that really gives the body what it needs.

"We don't always remember that what we eat should help all the body's cells, muscles, heart and brain to work at their best, without complications," says Hallberg. "We want to be healthy and to function properly, but we eat food that doesn't give our body what it needs."

Well-known functional foods include dairy products with beneficial bacterial cultures, high-fibre bread and pasta products and margarines with beneficial omega-3 fatty acids. But "adding functionality" is also a good way of selling more products. Beans, nuts and vegetables are outstanding examples of natural functional food.

PLAN YOUR FOOD

The cornerstones of a good diet are: eat regularly, eat breakfast, eat lots of vegetables and drink water. Limit sugar, semi-finished products and alcohol. Eat more vegetables and cut down on meat and fast carbohydrates.

"A good diet is a question of planning. If you take 30 seconds to think through what you're going to eat tomorrow, it will be easier to stick to your plan."

LISTEN TO YOUR BODY

You can find out about functional food on the internet or from a dietician or nutritional advisor. Hallberg also encourages everyone to listen to the body's signals.

"As an individual, you often know best which food is good for you – if you learn to feel. Keep a check on how your insides feel and which food keeps you in a good mood, and think about your eating habits. Then you'll be on the right track."