While super foods (sometimes called functional foods) have been around a long time they are finally being recognized for their beneficial contributions to our diets. As people all over the world become increasingly health conscious they are also discovering an entirely new category of foods – super foods. Demand is expected to increase significantly as people in the USA and the world eat more of these foods.
If you haven’t heard about super foods, they are defined as foods that provide more benefits than simple nutrition. Oats are now well-known for their cholesterol-reducing properties. Indeed, Quaker Oats gained the right to legally promote the health benefits of the product the company was named for. The United States Food and Drug Administration approved this health claim in 1997 setting a precedent for other companies to follow suit.
However such health claims are not often clear cut. Some well respected scientists like those at the University of Illinois at Chicago claim they have identified real benefits contained in certain functional foods.
On the other hand, there are plenty of doubters demanding the FDA continue to keep a short lease on anyone claiming one food is healthier than another. Such naysayers have not slowed the flood of folks worldwide who are ravenous for double-duty tidbits.
More people are eating healthier every day. And food producers are responding to this demand by pouring money into developing foods to meet the public pallet. Even entire countries are jumping in. Ireland recently announced a 5.2 million Euro investment in functional food research and development to try to capitalize on this growth market.
The fact is scientists are finding many claims to be right on the money. Any company that can satisfy the Food and Drug Administration’s requirements for such proof stands to profit immensely from a thumbs up from the regulatory giant. And it’s good news for the public too. Everyone wins by eating better foods that help us live healthier lives. And keeping the scam artists at bay who want to make false claims isn’t a bad idea either.
The reasons the demand for functional foods is growing is two-fold. Food producers are actively looking to find foods that have additional health benefits to be more competitive in their market. And folks all over the planet are finding they like to eat more foods that help them live better. So they are looking for and asking for them. It looks like this trend can be expected to grow for a long time to