The type of food that you are asking about in your question is called a functional food, and it is a foodstuff which has had a new ingredient added to it and has provided it with a brand-new function. This function could be related to disease prevention or the promotion of good health.
- Category of functional foods
Types of foods that come under the heading of functional foods can include processed foods or other foods that contain additives that are considered to be health promoting. These foods are often described as "vitamin enriched".
- Why are functional foods special?
As you probably know, all types of food are functional because every food contains some kind of nutrition or substance that gives us energy, supports our vital processes or helps our body to grow or repair.
The deal with functional foods is that they are considered to offer people additional health benefits that are also associated with reducing the likelihood or risk of certain diseases. Other functional foods will promote good health. Examples of these functional foods are butters and spreads that claim to have added omega-3 and orange juice that has been fortified with calcium.
Hearing the term functional foods has probably made you feel slightly confused, especially with some people saying they are good and others condemning them. One thing you should know is that the claims that are made by the companies that make functional foods is that they cannot all be complete rubbish as the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) regulates all the claims that are made.
But even the FDA has expressed concerns about the health claims that are being made by these food companies. Until more information is released about these foods, you should aim to eat a healthy and follow a balanced diet.