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Nature's Insights

What Are Nutraceuticals

In recent years, we witnessed a surge in dietary supplement products which are nutritionally functional and widely available in many retailers. 

With these products, the word “nutraceutical” is commonly used to describe them. So, you might have heard or seen the word “nutraceuticals” quite a lot before but may not be aware of its meaning. 

So, what are nutraceuticals? We take a look at its meaning and benefits: 
 

What does “Nutraceuticals” mean?  

A word derived from the words “nutrition” and “pharmaceuticals,” the term “nutraceutical” was coined in 1989 by Dr. S. DeFelice. It is used to describe products that have been produced from other food sources and have some health benefits along with nutritional value. They are used to support the overall health of the body and prevent and treat diseases. 

Nutraceuticals are a group of products that are more than food but less than pharmaceuticals. Unfortunately, there is still no internationally accepted definition of these products therefore their judgement varies country by country. In most countries, nutraceuticals are taken as part of dietary supplements. Frequency of nutraceuticals use is 50%–70% in developed countries’ population and this number is increasing by the age. Research also found that women use more nutraceuticals than men.  

What are Nutraceutical Foods? 

Nutraceutical foods are edible food products that have medicinal properties previously only found in pharmaceutical non-food products. They can be either functional foods or medicinal foods. While functional ones provide the body with the required amounts of all types of nutrients, medicinal ones are made to be administered internally under supervision of a doctor. 

Both types of nutraceutical foods can be nutrient-rich and provide medicinally active benefits. Some examples may be garlic, soy beans, omega 3 (found in fish), ginger, vitamins, dietary fibre, fortified foods, enriched foods, and so much more. 

Nutraceutical foods need to have shown to protect the body from disease in some way and this can take extensive product testing. The market demand for nutraceutical foods is high as governments look to lower healthcare costs and consumers move away from buying traditional processed foods because of all the information that proves them as nutritionally lacking. The United States and Japan have been the pioneers in the nutraceutical food industry for many years now, while these foods are slower to develop in Europe and other countries. 

As the importance of nutrition gets more crucial to many people, scientists and nutritionists pay more attention to the connection between nutrition and diseases. Many people globally are more aware of the fact that poor nutritional habits may cause some serious diseases and health conditions. 

What are the benefits of nutraceuticals? 

Due to their potential nutritional effects and health benefits, nutraceuticals have gained the interests of many people. They are believed to be effective to improve health, prevent chronic diseases, postpone the aging process or support the overall functions of the body.  

In some cases, it is also believed that they would help to prevent life threatening diseases such as diabetes or heart diseases.  

Nutraceutical food manufacturers look for products to help prevent serious illnesses such as cancer and heart disease. They look to enhance the often high fat, high sugar, high sodium traditional processed foods with ingredients that have proven health benefits. For example, vitamin supplements in moderation have been shown to be beneficial to the body and were previously only available in vitamin tablet form. Today, some nutraceutical foods processors are developing candy that has vitamins added. 

 

Here at Greenliving Pharma, we believe in the power of natural ingredients and we create nutraceutical products that will support your wellbeing and create healthier lives for all ages..   

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