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Curr Cardiol Rep. 2015 Jun;17(6):39. doi: 10.1007/s11886-015-0593-9.

Impact of functional foods on prevention of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

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Department of Medicine/Cardiology Division, University of California Irvine School of Medicine, 101 City Drive South, City Tower, Suite 400, Orange, CA, 92868-4080, USA,


A healthy dietary pattern is a cornerstone for the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and type 2 diabetes (T2DM). Compelling scientific evidence has shown many health effects of individual foods (including herbs and spices), beverages, and their constituent nutrients and bioactive components on risk of chronic disease and associated risk factors. The focus of functional foods research that is reviewed herein has been on assessing the health effects and underlying mechanisms of action of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, dairy products including fermented products, legumes, nuts, green tea, spices, olive oil, seafood, red wine, herbs, and spices. The unique health benefits of these functional foods have been the basis for recommending their inclusion in a healthy dietary pattern. A better understanding of strategies for optimally including functional foods in a healthy dietary pattern will confer greater benefits on the prevention and treatment of CVD and T2DM.

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