While food has long been used to improve health, our knowledge of health is now being used to improve food. Strictly speaking, all food is functional, in that it provides energy and nutrients necessary for survival. But the term “functional food” in use today conveys health benefits that extend far beyond mere survival. Food and nutrition science has moved from identifying and correcting nutritional deficiencies to designing foods that promote optimal health and reduce the risk of disease.

The co…

Fig. 1—Functional foods have a place in the health care continuum, providing low-cost approaches to disease prevention that give consumers a significant role in maintaining good health.

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