When it comes to our diet, we try to pay attention to all kinds of aspects that we consider important: origin, organic quality and vitamins are just a few examples of many. One of the most important aspects that many people lose sight of or perhaps even don't know about when overwhelmed with advertising promises is the bioactivity of foods and supplements. The term “bioactivity” already indicates quite well what this expression is about: a biological activity. Now you might think that our bodies should actually be able to digest all foods well and certainly get nutrients from them, but that's not the case.
The bioactivity of a food or product determines how efficiently and actively our body can use and absorb the nutrients it supplies. Some factors play an important role, which we would like to discuss in more detail in this article.
What is bioactivity and why is it important?
“Bioactivity” defines the ability of nutrients and other substances in our food to cause specific biochemical and physiological reactions in our body. Bioactive compounds in foods can have a variety of effects in our bodies, including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, immunostimulatory, antimicrobial, anticancer and cardioprotective effects.
These compounds can interfere with metabolism at the cellular and molecular level and trigger biochemical reactions that can have positive effects on health and well-being. The bioactivity of a food or dietary supplement therefore plays an essential role in our nutrition, our health and our well-being. In this article we will explore the importance of bioactivity in our daily diet, highlight its impact on various aspects of health and highlight why it is important to resort to bioactive foods and supplements in our diet.
Our diet today has evolved from a pure source of energy to a complex matrix of biologically active compounds. Bioactive substances are able to do just that - interact with cellular and molecular processes in our body and have positive effects on our health that go beyond simply providing energy.
So what exactly are these bioactive substances and to what extent can they have a positive effect on our body?
Bioactive compounds and their effects
Bioactive compounds in food are chemical substances that occur naturally in foods and can cause specific biochemical and physiological reactions in our bodies. They are often referred to as “functional substances” because they go beyond simply providing energy and can have targeted positive effects and functions for our health.
These bioactive compounds include a variety of substance groups such as: B. Antioxidants, phytochemicals, fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. Such bioactive substances are mainly found in plant foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds and legumes, but can also be found in animal foods such as fish and seafood.
BETHECHANGE sees the bioactivity and bioavailability of nutrients and food as one of the most important aspects - our products are therefore tailored to human biochemistry and designed according to the principles of bioactivity and bioavailability. Bioactivity is one of our basic pillars , along with other important aspects.
We would therefore like to go into more detail about individual bioactive compounds.
Antioxidants are bioactive substances that can combat oxidative stress and reduce cell damage caused by free radicals. They play an important role in preventing chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer and neurodegenerative disorders.
Foods rich in bioactive antioxidants include:
Berries : Berries like blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries are excellent sources of antioxidants. They contain a variety of phytochemicals such as anthocyanins, flavonoids and vitamin C.
Dark Chocolate : Dark chocolate with a high cocoa content contains flavanols, which have powerful antioxidant properties. The chocolate should have a cocoa content of at least 70%. Our regeneration shake, for example, contains valuable cocoa.
Green tea : Green tea is rich in catechins, a type of flavanol. These powerful antioxidants can help reduce oxidative stress and fight inflammation in the body.
Phytochemicals are natural compounds found in plants that may have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-cancer properties. Flavonoids, carotenoids and polyphenols are examples of phytochemical compounds found in fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices that can provide a variety of health benefits due to their bioactivity.
Good sources of phytochemicals include the following foods:
Fruit: Berries (blueberries, raspberries), citrus fruits (oranges, grapefruits, lemons), apples, grapes, cherries and pomegranates contain a variety of phytochemicals such as anthocyanins, flavonoids and carotenoids. In order to benefit from these valuable phytochemicals, we have also developed our protein porridge in the “Berries” variety .
Vegetables: Green leafy vegetables (spinach, kale, chard), broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, peppers, garlic, onions and cruciferous vegetables (cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage) contain phytochemicals such as sulforaphane, lycopene, indoles and quercetin.
Spices and Herbs: Turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, oregano, rosemary, basil and garlic contain a variety of phytochemicals such as curcumin, gingerol, rosmarinic acid and allicin. Our Curcuma Longa extract also contains valuable phytochemicals that are bioactive and highly bioavailable.
Whole grains : Whole grains such as oatmeal, brown rice, quinoa and whole wheat bread contain phytochemicals such as lignans, phytosterols and phenolic acids. Our organic protein porridge in different varieties is a good source of fiber and phytochemicals.
Fiber is a bioactive component of carbohydrates found in plant foods such as whole grains, legumes and vegetables. They promote intestinal health, regulate blood sugar levels, support feelings of satiety and contribute to weight control.
Whole grains: Oatmeal , whole grain bread, brown rice, quinoa, millet and barley are rich in fiber. Replacing refined grain products with whole grain alternatives is a good way to increase fiber consumption.
Vegetables : Broccoli, carrots, kale, spinach, celery, beets, artichokes, and cauliflower are good sources of fiber.
Fruit : Berries (raspberries, blackberries, blueberries), apples, pears, oranges and avocados are rich in fiber.
Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fatty acids that are mainly found in fatty fish, flaxseeds and walnuts. They play an important role in anti-inflammatory, heart health, brain function and maintaining a healthy immune system.
Omega-3 fatty acids are abundant in certain foods, particularly marine fish and some plant sources:
Fatty fish : Salmon, mackerel, sardines, herring, tuna and trout are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Eating two to three servings of fatty fish per week can help increase omega-3 levels. Our capsules with Omega-3 are also a good and bioactive option to ensure your Omega-3 supply.
Flaxseed : Whole flaxseeds and flaxseed oil are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. It is recommended to use flaxseed ground or as flaxseed oil to improve the absorption of fatty acids.
Chia seeds : Chia seeds are a good plant-based source of omega-3 fatty acids. The small, swelling seeds can be added to yogurt, smoothies or muesli.
Walnuts : Walnuts contain omega-3 fatty acids, especially alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Eating a handful of walnuts per day can help increase omega-3 levels.
Optimization of bioactivity in nutrition
To benefit from the benefits of bioactive compounds, we can also make long-term changes to our diet. We would like to show what this can look like and how to achieve a bioactive diet:
A varied diet including a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds and legumes allows us to absorb a wide range of bioactive compounds and benefit from their diverse health benefits.
Fresh and natural foods
It is generally advisable to use fresh, unprocessed foods, as these usually contain higher amounts of bioactive compounds compared to processed foods. By consuming fresh produce we can ensure we are incorporating an optimal amount of bioactivity into our diet.
Gentle preparation methods
The way we prepare our food can influence bioactivity. Gentle preparation methods such as steaming, grilling or gentle roasting can help minimize the loss of bioactive compounds. When it comes to supplements and dietary supplements, you should only use suppliers who pay conscious attention to bioactivity and bioavailability.
Combination of foods
Combining certain foods can increase bioactivity. For example, consuming foods rich in vitamin C (e.g. citrus fruits) and iron (e.g. dark leafy vegetables) at the same time can improve iron absorption.
Challenges and future research
The study of bioactivity in nutrition is a complex and constantly evolving field. In a scientific sense, we are only at the beginning of this exciting chapter, which will reveal so many more insights to us.
There is still much to be discovered, including the precise mechanisms by which bioactive compounds affect our health. If future research continues to focus on exploring the optimal absorption, processing and storage of bioactive compounds in foods, we can exploit their health benefits even more efficiently in the future.
BETHECHANGE is proud to be an active part of this progress and change in the food industry and to make an important contribution to a healthy and sustainable future.
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