National Nutrition Week: Role of Nutraceuticals in nutritional awareness

September 08, 2021 11:25 AM

With the current lifestyle and eating habits, healthcare providers have seen an increase in obesity, heart diseases and improper nutrition amongst the general population.

NutritionNutraceuticals have been found in a range of products and ingredients.

By Kamayani Naresh

Often used as an alternative to long term modern medicines, Nutraceuticals have received a lot of recognition for their high nutrition value and therapeutic effect on the human body. Nutraceuticals are daily food items found to have a high and potent nutritional value. Nutraceuticals are found primarily in herbs and superfood ingredients; they have proven to help prevent different diseases. They also help minimize the pathophysiology of a variety of diseases too. The food products that can be called nutraceuticals contain dietary fibres, prebiotics, probiotics and antioxidants. These are usually found in multiple herbals and natural foods.

With the current lifestyle and eating habits, healthcare providers have seen an increase in obesity, heart diseases and improper nutrition amongst the general population. Patients must take the medicines required to monitor most of the newer found lifestyle diseases throughout their lifetime. These medicines usually have after-effects that hinder the patients’ lifestyle. All these and the added expense of lifelong medications have encouraged more and more people to reconsider their approach to popping the pill. More people have changed their views on alternative medicines, especially nutraceuticals.

Nutraceuticals make the most of Hippocrates quote, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” Nutraceuticals are new age, scientifically proven superfoods that have been around an Indian diet for ages, but only in recent times have studies been conducted to prove their effectiveness in helping the human body stay healthy. Nutraceuticals can be defined as “a food or certain ingredients that provide medical or health benefits when consumed, including the prevention and or treatment of a disease”.

Nutraceuticals have been found in a range of products and ingredients. They can be consumed in isolated nutrients, herbal products, dietary supplements and diets to genetically curated foods and food products such as cereals, soups and beverages.

Nutraceuticals have proven to be effective and non-toxic even when consumed over a long duration. Therefore, nutraceuticals can be referred to as nutritional supplements used for health purposes other than nutrition. By ensuring the body gets the proper nutrients needed to stay healthy and fight diseases, nutraceuticals help boost the body’s immunity levels. Nutraceuticals help improve the body’s overall health, prevent the onset of chronic diseases, postpone the body’s ageing process, increase life expectancy, and support the daily functions and integrity of the body. They are considered healthy and natural sources for preventing life-threatening diseases such as diabetes, renal and gastrointestinal disorders, and different infections.

Nutraceuticals help ensure a better quality of life and have paved the way for a new era of medicine and healthcare. In addition, they have boosted the healthcare sector to become more food and diet oriented. As well as encouraged the food sector to pay particular attention to the nutritional value of the ingredients they incorporate in their products. By helping us include nutrition-rich ingredients in our diets on a near-daily basis, nutraceuticals will help us overcome a whole range of lifestyle diseases. They also ensure the genetics we pass down to the next generations are not hindered by more disorders and bodily issues.

(The author is Founder of Zyropathy. Views expressed are personal and do not reflect the official position or policy of the Financial Express Online.)

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