Functional Foods

Functional Foods: What Are They?

What does this buzzy phrase actually mean? While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not officially define the term, its origins date back to the 1980’s. The Japanese government created the label to describe a class of food that provides additional health benefits besides basic nutrition, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

What’s considered a functional food?


Both conventional foods like fruits, nuts, and vegetables and fortified fruits like yogurt, milk, and orange juice fit into the functional food category. Trendy functional foods include protein-infused water for increased performance and energy, fermented foods like pickles and kimchi, probiotic-infused coffee, and wild-caught fish.

Fit some functional foods into your diet with one of these delicious, power-house recipes.

brussel sprouts

Brussels Sprouts with Walnuts and Cranberries
Spruce up this classic side with antioxidant-rich cranberries and walnuts.

Black Lentils and Red Kidney Beans

Black Lentils with Red Kidney Beans
This hearty dish packs plant-based protein and fiber from lentils and kidney beans.

chocolate granola

Chocolate Goji Granola
Another recipe with antioxidant-rich berries–this time goji. Sprinkle on some flaxseed for a dose of brain-healthy Omega-3s.

Broiled Salmon with Mustard Soy Crust
This dinner comes together quickly, but delivers a healthy amount of Omega-3s, protein, and B vitamins.


This story originally appeared in the Summer 2020 issue of KIWI Magazine. Read the full issue here, or check out the latest from KIWI Magazine.