Earthy, essential


Today’s lesson is all about minerals. I know that to some people learning about minerals is about as exciting as watching water boil. Not me, I think minerals are fascinating. These essential nutrients play a major role in the body ranging from bone structure to nerve transmission and everything in between. Unlike vitamins, which are organic compounds that contain carbon, minerals are inorganic substances that we get from the earth; basically they are rocks. Some minerals are needed in significant amounts in the diet (gram quantities) and are also present in the body in large amounts like the calcium in your bones. Other minerals are only needed in trace amounts but their effect is just as great. For example, we only need to consume a miniscule amount of iron in our daily diet but without it we can suffer a number of deleterious effects, such as debilitating exhaustion from iron-deficiency anemia.

Minerals are present in both natural foods and processed foods. Just like vitamins, it’s best to get your minerals from the diet, however in some cases, mineral supplements are necessary. It’s best to talk to your physician regarding your mineral needs.

If you would like to know where the minerals are in the foods you eat, take a virtual walk through my kitchen with me and I’ll identify important minerals and tell you some of their functions.

Let’s start with the bowl of bananas on the kitchen table; they are chock full of potassium. Potassium is involved in nerve transmission and muscle contraction. One peak inside my refrigerator will reveal a treasure trove of minerals such as iron, phosphorous, magnesium and calcium. Iron is an essential component of the protein hemoglobin whichtransports oxygen via red blood cells. It is also a key player in utilizing the energy from foods. The spinach and ground beef for tonight’s dinner are both good sources of iron, however the iron in the spinach is not as easily absorbed. Combining a source of Vitamin C, like sliced oranges with the spinach salad, will enhance absorption of the mineral. Phosphorus is responsible for maintaining acid-base balance in the blood and is found in a variety of foods such as processed American cheese, sirloin steak and peanut butter. Magnesium is another mineral that plays a role in muscle contraction and also works to strengthen bones.You shouldn’t have too much trouble getting it in your diet since it’s found in a variety of foods such as almonds, baked potato, chicken and a staple in my kitchen, milk chocolate!

When you think of calcium, you may look to dairy foods because milk and milk products like yogurt and cheese are good sources of calcium. However, some vegetables can supply significant calcium to your diet such as broccoli, Bok choy, collard greens and kale. In addition, fish with soft edible bones like sardines or canned salmon are good choices too. Calcium is the main component of bones and teeth and it is imperative that growing children get enough calcium to ensure peak bone mass into young adulthood. Some people may not realize that calcium does more than build strong bones. Blood levels of calcium must remain at the appropriate levels in order to achieve muscle contraction and relaxation, proper blood clotting and nerve function.

Some other minerals worth mentioning are iodine ( found in iodized salt) which is part of a thyroid hormonethat controls metabolism and fluoride, which works with calcium to form bones and teeth and is in fluoridated drinking water, seafood and tea.Zinc is noted for increasing our immunity and protein synthesis and it’s also involved in sexual development and sperm production. It’s interesting that oysters are exceptionally high in zinc and are associated with sexual endurance in men. Minerals aren’t so boring after all, are they?

Sodium is a mineral that our body needs but most Americans consume too much sodium in the form of sodium chloride or table salt. Here’s how you can reduce excessive intake of sodium:

Use spices, herbs, vinegars and lemon juice to season foods. Be adventurous and try a new spice in an old recipe.

Rinse canned foods to remove excess salt or buy low-sodium versions.

Avoid those instant seasoned soups and rice mixes. They are highly salted. If the flavoring packet is separate use half and season with non-salt flavorings.

Limit processed and packaged foods.

Eat in more often since restaurant foods tend to be salty.

Instead of salted popcorn, prepare air-popped popcorn and season with cinnamon, or black pepper depending on the taste you desire.

 

Cancer-fighting tips

When it comes to fighting cancer, the good news is that many kinds are subject to delay or avoidance by making smart life-style choices. Some of the behavioral tweaks recommended by a leading cancer doctor may surprise you.

Of course, the formula for preventing cancer isn’t iron-clad, nor is it one size fits all. That’s according to Dr. David Agus, an oncologist, professor of medicine at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles and author of the new book “The End of Illness,” which examines the scientific evidence behind his conclusions.

“As a cancer doctor on the front lines, one of the first things you realize is the best way to treat cancer is actually to prevent it,” he said in a recent interview.

Medicine has spent too much time looking at individual cells and fixating on individual tests instead of studying whole systems and how they interact over time, Agus said, noting that diseases like cancer reflect a breakdown of the body’s interconnected systems.

“To me diseases are verbs, not nouns. You’re cancering. You’re heart diseasing,” he said. “That’s a very different approach to health.”

Agus is cofounder of Navigenics, a personal genomics company that contracts with doctors and employers to try to motivate people to change their behavior based on findings about their genetic predispositions. He’s also cofounder of Applied Proteomics, which studies how proteins are expressed in the body. Agus holds a small financial stake in both firms.

Other personalized-medicine outfits with different business models, including 23andMe and DNA Direct, have sprung up in the past six years as concern about managing health-care costs has grown. But you don’t need to buy one of these companies’ services to take steps toward living a longer, healthier life.

Here are 10 ways to help your body prevent the ravages of disease, according to Agus:

  1. Keep a predictable schedule. Try to eat, sleep and exercise at about the same time every day including weekends, and don’t forget to schedule downtime to unwind without technological intrusions. Getting enough shut-eye is important for memory consolidation, mood balance and long-term physical health, he says, but regularity of sleep patterns matters more than total hours slept. Having trouble adhering to a routine? Consider getting a dog, he suggests. Dog ownership involves walking and feeding it at regular intervals, forcing people to stick to the clock, get some physical activity and take breaks from working.
  2. Move frequently and avoid prolonged sitting. Fitness is paramount to your body’s overall functioning, and you won’t have to sweat the risks of pills or surgery. What’s more, sitting for long stretches of time has been linked to a higher risk of early death and many diseases including colon cancer. It’s easy to underestimate how long you stay seated during the day. Even Agus was surprised to learn how sedentary he was after wearing a device that measured his activity. Finding out that he had three hours of daily uninterrupted sitting motivated him to buy a wireless phone headset that allowed him to walk around during conference calls, resulting in a 35% greater number of steps taken per day. His prescription: aim for an hour of moderate exercise a day (short bouts count, too) and keep a set of free weights nearby so you can sneak in some bicep curls. “I’d suggest you keep a pair of 2.5-pound weights by your desk, under your couch and anywhere you spend time,” Agus writes in his book. “Stand on one foot and do 20 reps while on your next phone call with a headset; this is a great abdominal exercise that also helps you work on your balance.”
  3. Ditch the vitamins and supplements. Unless you’re addressing a confirmed vitamin deficiency, are considering pregnancy or are already pregnant, you can steer clear of multivitamins and save money without sacrificing your health, Agus says. Some people believe they need supplements to fight a battle with so-called free radicals, but the body already has defenses against such byproducts of metabolism, he says, and the effects of interfering with the body’s natural control system aren’t well understood. In the meantime, many studies point to no benefit and sometimes harm from vitamins and supplements. Vitamin E supplementation, for example, was found to raise the risk of prostate cancer 17% in healthy men, according to a study published last year in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
  4. Get an annual flu shot. Having the flu triggers inflammation, which can set the body up for serious problems when it’s most vulnerable, he says. The flu vaccine, whose contents change every year according to the dominant viral strains projected to circulate, helps the body tone down its harsh immune response. “I want [people] to think of a flu shot in terms of not just what it means today but a decade from now,” Agus says
  5. If you’re over 40, talk with your doctor about the benefits and risks of taking a statin and low-dose daily aspirin if you’re not taking them already, he says. These low-cost medications have been shown to reduce the risk of heart attacks, strokes and even some kinds of cancer, but they also have side effects you should weigh carefully.
  6. Wear comfortable shoes. Nix the high heels and other uncomfortable footwear in favor of shoes that don’t cause swelling or curtail your movement, Agus says. Picking shoes that won’t cause back or joint problems can help you cut your risk of chronic inflammation. “Over weeks, months, years, [wearing comfortable shoes] changes your overall health, and you’re also going to move more,” he says.
  7. Take inventory of your medicine cabinet once a year. Go over your list of drugs with your doctor to see if your needs have changed and if you can lose at least a few of them.  “Health is a constantly moving target,” Agus writes.
  8. Cash in on healthy-living incentives. Your employer may offer lower insurance premiums in exchange for taking a health-risk assessment or cut you a break on the cost of a gym membership. Your premium dollars might include the services of a health coach, who can help you set and stick to goals around making sustainable life-style changes. “How do we make health profitable instead of sickness?” Agus says. “Put in incentives for prevention.”
  9. Think of your doctor as a partner, not a friend. Ask your physician what he or she does to stay current on the latest scientific information, Agus suggests, and if you don’t feel you can tell your doctor anything, find a new one.
  10. Know yourself by keeping records of your medical data. Perhaps Agus’ most controversial tip is to store it online. But old-fashioned paper will do. If you jot down dates, symptoms and treatment trial and error, it may allow you to discover patterns that can help you and your doctor catch problems early and customize your care more effectively.

‘Fruit’ snacks can be deceptive treats

If your children won’t peel an orange, maybe a picture of one on the front of RealFruit Minis packaged snacks will appeal to them.

If rinsing real berries is too tedious, their image on a packet of Fruit By the Foot might get the kids eating.

And if depictions of fresh fruit don’t catch the youngsters’ eyes, perhaps Dora the Explorer, featured on the cover of Betty Crocker’s fruit-flavoured snacks, will do the trick.

The problem? There’s no orange purée in those RealFruit Minis. Sugar is the top ingredient in Fruit By the Foot, which contains no berries. Corn syrup and sugar are the lead ingredients in each mini Dora.

These products are part of a growing market of packaged fruit snacks, their manufacturers jockeying for the attention of on-the-go parents who want their children to get enough daily servings of fruits. Some snacks rely on images of fresh fruit to draw in shoppers; others use cartoon characters.

And in an increasingly crowded market, most feature the word “fruit” on the front of their packages, usually incorporated into the product name. All a company has to do is make sure fruit purée makes up more than two per cent of the total product, and that’s enough for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

HIGHLY PROCESSED

Purées are highly processed, allowing for a long shelf life but can be stripped of fibre, many vitamins, minerals and other phytonutrients.

Are these snacks providing the nutrition they seem to suggest? Are parents getting what they think they’re paying for?

There’s no comparing fresh fruit with these snacks, says Rena Mendelson, a professor of nutrition at Ryerson University.

“You can replace the vitamins but you can’t replace other attributes, like vital chemicals. So there’s a big trade-off parents are making for convenience, both for attributes and also the habit-forming nature of eating fruits and vegetables,” she said.

What it boils down to in this ever-expanding market, driven by entrenched brands increasing their number of offerings, is the “convenience factor,” says Shannon Brown, an analyst at the consumer market research firm Packaged Facts.

“It’s an easy little single size of fruit snacks. It’s much easier to toss that into your kid’s lunch box than cut up an apple, wrap it up, make sure there’s a way to keep it cold,” said Brown, who authored a recent report on snack products for her firm.

Brown adds, “There’s the fruit snacks made of actual pieces of fruit and there are these so-called fruit-flavoured snacks that are typically for children that are more candy than actual fruit. From the front of pack-age, it’s hard to distinguish.”

Sugar is the lead ingredient in General Mills’ Fruit Gushers, which contain more than 20 ingredients. Rounding off the top five are concentrated pear purée, corn syrup, modified corn starch and fructose.

Dare’s RealFruit Minis, shaped like “wild kingdom” animals, contain “30 per cent fruit juices from concentrate and fruit purée,” according to the front of the package. “Fruit juices from concentrate” is the top ingredient, and there is more glucose, sugar, and glucose-fructose than fruit purées in the mini animals resembling gummy bears.

MORE JUICE THAN PURÉES

Dare spokeswoman Kathy Khamis said there is a greater proportion of fruit juices from concentrate than purées, as shown in the claim and the ingredient list, but the company won’t provide the breakdown. Calling the information proprietary, Khamis said the company follows the CFIA rule requiring an ingredient make up greater than two per cent of product for it to be highlighted.

Some companies competing for a share of the fruit snack market are hitting back, calling their competitors’ products “fruit impostors.”

Sun-Rype Products Ltd., based in Kelowna, doesn’t have any trouble meeting the two-per-cent benchmark for its Fruit To Go strips. The ingredient list for its “100 per cent fruit snack” is simple: various fruit purée concentrates, various fruit juice concentrates, citrus pectin and natural flavour.

To fight against being lumped into the same category as fruit-flavoured snacks with sugar as a primary ingredient, the company promotes a website called findoutnow.ca on its packages.

The site asks, “If your fruit snack isn’t 100 per cent fruit, what is it?” It includes pictures of ingredients in petri dishes and beakers, each containing a pop-up about how it is “found in some ‘fruit’ snacks” and is an “ingredient Sun-Rype doesn’t use.”

Gelatin, hydrogenated and modified oils, sodium benzoate, tartrazine, sodium citrate, sulphites, methyl paraben and dextrose, also known as glucose or corn sugar, are among the ingredients listed that Sun-Rype notes it isn’t using.

“There are a lot of ‘fruit impostors’ out there that pre-tend to be wholesome but instead of being 100 per cent fruit, most have sugar as the main ingredients plus artificial colours, artificial flavours, artificial or chemical preservatives and fillers,” said Barb Broder, Sun-Rype’s group marketing manager of food.

DISTINGUISH ITS SNACKS

Welch’s is also trying to distinguish its fruit snacks with a message on its website that says: “We put the fruit in fruit snacks: Welch’s fruit snacks are made with REAL fruit and fruit juices.”

The lead ingredients in Welch’s “berries ‘n cherries fruit snacks” – white grape purée, strawberry purée, apple purée and raspberry purée – are followed by corn syrup, sugar, modified corn starch, gelatin, citric acid, natural and artificial flavours, coconut oil, carnauba wax and colours.

Meanwhile, General Mills is facing a class action suited filed recently in California by a consumer advocacy group.

The Washington-based Center for Science in the Public Interest, which has an office in Ottawa, is accusing the company of presenting its Fruit Gushers, Fruit-O-Long, Fruit By the Foot and Fruit Roll-Ups as “healthful and nutritious” when they are “little better than giving candy to children,” according to the complaint filed in court.

Toronto mother Dawn Wood-ward, for one, won’t be buying Fruit Gushers or any other pre-packaged fruit snacks for her six-year-old daughter any time soon.

“You might as well be eating sugar. To me, there’s no nutritional value. It’s so easy just to give her an apple or make her a smoothie with yogurt and frozen blueberries. It’s become just second nature. We just don’t buy them,” said Woodward.

HOW MUCH FRUIT IS THERE IN FRUIT SNACKS?

An entire area of the grocery store is reserved for “fruit snacks” and “fruit-flavoured snacks,” with most incorporating the word “fruit” in their product name. Here is how some of them stack up to actual fruit. The percentages represent the daily recommended intake of a nutrient in a single serving.

THE SNACKS

FRUIT BY THE FOOT

Top ingredients: Sugar and/ or golden sugar, maltodextrin, concentrated pear purée

Calories: 80 (1 roll) Fat: 2 g

Carbs: 6 per cent

Sugars: 9 g

Fibre: 0 per cent

Vitamin C: 20 per cent

Iron: 0 per cent

DORA THE EXPLORER FRUIT FLAVOURED SNACKS

Top ingredients: Corn syrup, sugar, concentrated apple and pear juice

Calories: 80 (1 pouch)

Fat: 0 g

Carbs: 6 per cent

Sugars: 12 g

Fibre: 0 per cent Vitamin C: 25 per cent

Iron: 0 per cent

Dare RealFruit Minis: “30 per cent fruit juices from concentrate and fruit purée”

Top ingredients: Fruit juices from concentrate, glucose, sugar.

Calories: 80 (1 pouch)

Fat: 0 per cent

Carbs: 7 per cent

Fibre: 0 per cent

Sugar: 13 g Vitamin C: 0 per cent

Iron: 0 per cent

WELCH’S FRUIT SNACKS BERRIES ‘N CHERRIES “MADE WITH FRUIT”

Top ingredients: White grape purée, strawberry purée, apple purée

Calories: 80 (1 pouch)

Fat: 0 per cent

Carbs: 6 per cent

Fibre: 0 per cent

Sugars: 9 g

Vitamin C: 0 per cent

Iron: 0 per cent

Sun-Rype FunBites “100 per cent fruit snack”

Top ingredients: Apple and/or pear raspberry purée concentrates, citrus pectin

Calories: 45 (1 pouch)

Fat: 0 per cent

Carbs: 4 per cent

Fibre: 4 per cent

Sugars: 11 g

Vitamin C: 2 per cent

Iron: 0 per cent

REAL FRUIT

APPLE (LARGE)

Calories: 130 Fat: 0 per cent Carbs: 11 per cent Fibre: 20 per cent Sugars: 25 g Vitamin C: 8 per cent Iron: 2 per cent Bonus: Apples contain antioxidants called flavonoids, which may help lower the chance of developing diabetes and asthma. They also help clean your teeth.

BANANA (MEDIUM)

Calories: 110

Fat: 0 per cent

Carbs: 10 per cent Fibre: 12 per cent

Sugars: 19 per cent

Vitamin C: 15 per cent

Iron: 2 per cent

Bonus: Bananas are also source of vitamin B6 and folate, and contain more potassium than most fruit and may help lower blood pressure levels.

BLUEBERRIES (1 CUP)

Calories: 84

Fat: 0 per cent

Carbs: 7 per cent

Fibre: 14 per cent

Vitamin C: 24 per cent

Iron: 2 per cent

Bonus: Blueberries are some-times called “superfruits” for their antioxidant properties.

Blueberries are an excellent source of manganese.

ORANGE (MEDIUM)

Calories: 80

Fat: 0 per cent

Carbs: 6 per cent

Fibre: 12 per cent

Sugar: 14 g

Vitamin C: 130 per cent

Iron: 0 per cent

Bonus: Oranges are a good source of folate. They also contain a phytochemical called hesperidin, which may lower cholesterol levels.

STRAWBERRIES (4 MEDIUM)

Calories: 25 Fat: 0 per cent

Carbs: 2 per cent

Fibre: 4 per cent

Sugar: 4 per cent

Vitamin C: 80 per cent

Iron: 1 per cent

Bonus: Strawberries are rich in several antioxidants with anti-inflammatory properties, including helping to prevent hardened arteries.

Food is Good, Superfoods are Even Better!

Foods like kale, avocados, apples, almonds and quinoa are now being grouped into a category of foods called “superfoods.”  There is no true, legal definition of “superfood,” but most natural health experts agree that superfoods are foods that are unprocessed, nutrient dense and packed full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and enzymes.  They are eaten not only to satisfy hunger but to nourish and strengthen the body.  The new superfood category is also popularizing lesser-known foods like spirulina, maca and chia.

Spirulina

Spirulina is a blue – green algae that grows in hot, sunny climates around the world.   According to Kimberly Snyder, C.N, in The Beauty Detox Solution, Spirulina can be helpful in warding off energy slumps and, thanks to its high protein content, it is useful for active athletes.  Also according to Snyder, Spirulina is packed with vitamins, minerals, gamma-linoleic acid (GLA), B vitamins, enzymes, and contains all essential amino acids.  Spirulina is about 60 percent protein, rich in iron and rich in vitamin B12, making it an excellent addition to a vegetarian or vegan diet.

Maca

Maca is native to the Peruvian highlands and resembles a turnip or radish.  The climate of the Peruvian highlands is exceptionally harsh and is considered some of the most inhospitable farmland in the world.  Maca is able to thrive in these extreme conditions. In the United States, maca is sold in powdered or capsule form and is commonly marketed for libido hormonal support and to endurance athletes.  According to Carmen Mattes, MH in The Wonders of Maca, Maca has traditionally been used for increased endurance, fertility support, immune support, hormonal support and anti-stress support.  According to Mattes, maca strengthens, nourishes and balances the endocrine system for both males and females.  Brendan Brazier, a professional Ironman triathlete and author of The Thrive Diet, uses maca as an energy-booster and for post-workout recovery.

Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are native to southern Mexico and were a main component in the Mayan and Aztec diets.  According to Dr. Andrew Weil, M.D, chia seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, molybdenum, niacin, and zinc. Chia seeds can be stored for long periods of time without turning rancid due to their high antioxidant content.  When added to water and allowed to sit for 15 minutes, the chia seeds and water form a gel.  According to Dr. Weil, researchers suggest that this reaction also takes place in the stomach, slowing the process by which digestive enzymes break down carbohydrates and convert them into sugar.  Chia seeds can be added to soft foods like oatmeal or yogurt, added to smoothies, added to baked goods or eaten as a gel.

Other foods in the “superfood” category include coconut oil, coconut water, raw cacao, hemp seeds, acai berries, goji berries, flax seeds, wheat grass, barley grass and all fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds.  Some animal-based products like wild salmon and free-range, organic eggs are also in this category.  Since individual dietary needs vary, a “superfood” to one person may not be a “superfood” to another person.  It is always best to consult with a doctor or nutritionist before adding new foods to the diet.

 

The US Nutritional and Dietary Supplements Market

The report on The US Nutritional and Dietary Supplements Market and Forecast to 2016 provides extensive information on different types of health supplements demand trends and reasons for change. It also discuses performance of industry segments such as vitamins, minerals, herbal supplements, sports nutrition and whey supplements. The report talks about various factors driving growth in the industry and at the same time impact of macro economy factors over the industry performance. We have also covered industry regulations, MA’s and major player’s performance.

The nature of the industry is fragmented and uses various sources to make it available to the final consumers, such as – supermarkets, medical stores, specialty outlets and mail order companies promoting products through TV channels. Also internet is contributing a major share in the growth of supplements demand. Sales of nutritional and dietary supplements (including sports nutrition) grew in 2010, with the highest growth registered in the conventional (food, drug and mass merchandisers/FDM) channel.

Vitamins segment account for the largest source of revenue in the overall US dietary supplements industry. Calcium is one of the most on
demand supplements in minerals category driven by women population, rising aging population, arthritis cases, osteoarthritis, bone
fractures and other bone and joint diseases. The US sports supplement market is leading worldwide with 57% market share. This sector was affected by recent economic crisis when people preferred to manage funds rather than spending on gymnasiums or health clubs. Weight loss market registered a slow growth from 2009 to 2011 due to shift in demand from high cost weight management supplements to low cost meal replacements and diet plans.

Functional Food Trends 2012: Consumers Want Nutrients From Food, Not Supplements

Newswise — CHICAGO – The Top 10 Functional Food Trends of 2012 point to more consumers favor getting their vitamins and minerals from the foods they eat and beverages they drink instead of supplements, according to research presented Wednesday at the Institute of Food Technologists’ Wellness 12 meeting.

A. Elizabeth Sloan, Ph.D., president, Sloan Trends Inc. and contributing editor of IFT’s Food Technology magazine, presented the research at the conference, which included data from a variety of scientific, food and consumer research sources. Leading the trends this year is a move toward “real food nutrition,” which includes blending different foods for maximum health benefits, choosing foods for their inherent nutritional value (such as nuts or fruits) and integrating whole food supplements such as coconut milk into the diet, rather than supplementing with a vitamin.

“Consumers are preferring to get their nutrients naturally and their health benefits naturally, versus fortified foods or vitamin and mineral supplements,” Dr. Sloan said. “This has been going on for 20 years. What’s new is that it’s being put into action.”

The data showed a 6 percentage point increase from 2009 to 2011 (36 to 42 percent) in the number of people making an effort to serve meals that are naturally higher in vitamins and nutrition. At the same time, vitamin and supplement users report cutting back significantly on their use, citing three reasons:
• A belief that the quality and benefits of nutrition in foods is best
• Pervasive doubts about the bioavailability of even the highest quality supplements
• Concerns about the long-term effects on the digestive system

Dr. Sloan noted that consumers believe that vitamins and minerals are more beneficial when they are consumed in food. Other trends for 2012 include:

No. 2 Mini-Managers. Rather than making drastic dietary changes, consumers are still buying the same staples, such as bread and pasta, but they are seeking healthier versions of those products. For example, a study cited by Dr. Sloan found that 66 percent of shoppers said they have switched to whole grain bread. Another study found that for the first time, shoppers are now considering whether a product has artificial sweeteners or high fructose corn syrup when evaluating its nutritional value.

No. 3 Bioavailability. Dr. Sloan noted that consumers increasingly believe nutrition plays a key role in maintaining health and staving off serious diseases, and they will seek products that help them get important nutrients. According to one study:
• 55 percent of consumers believe calcium is very effective for bone health
• 55 percent believe fiber is very effective against colon cancer
• 38 percent believe omega vitamins are very effective for heart health

In cases where consumers take a dietary supplement, magnesium is the fastest-growing mineral (up 25 percent in 2011). In addition, supplements that promote healthy vision are surging in popularity.

The full article about the Top Functional Food Trends will be in the April 2012 issue of Food Technology magazine.

Top Ten Functional Food Trends

1. Real Food Nutrition
2. Mini-Managers
3. Bioavailability
4. Protein Power
5. Plant Based
6. Gourmet Nutrition
7. The New Risks (stroke, heart attack prevention)
8. First Aid (relief from sore throat, constipation, sleeplessness)
9. Kids, Dads and Grannies (appealing to these groups)
10. Liquidification