Health and Social Work


Zachary Collins



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Zachary Collins, Dietetics
Faculty Mentor: Professor Suk Oh, Health, Nutrition, and Dietetics

Functional foods are those provide additional and enhanced health benefits beyond basic nutrition. Although many foods are purported to have unique qualities, I will be specifically exploring whether berries, onions, and cruciferous vegetables provide a substantial health benefit beyond their nutrient content. Berries contain phytochemicals that are believed to have anticarcinogenic, cardioprotective, and neuroprotective effects. Additionally, depending on berry variety, a number of health benefits—such as treatment of urinary tract infection and control of postprandial glucose and insulin responses—will be explored. Different onion varieties are thought to have a host of benefits ranging from encouraging anti-platelet activity associated with decreased CVD risk, to increasing brown fat ratio, to having inhibitory effects on growth of cancer cells. Cruciferous vegetables—a family of vegetables that include cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, and kale—contain isothiocyanates that play a role in lowering cancer risk and have cardiovascular benefits. My research is based on review of literature and journals, and will explore current and ever-changing research. I will use also my presentation to debunk and clarify any falsehoods circulating about these particular functional foods. In a world full of inaccurate or misleading health and nutrition information, I will discuss scientifically relevant, peer-reviewed evidence in a way to help better understand functional foods.

Publication Date


Berries, Onions, and Cruciferous Vegetables: Functional Foods
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