What Are Nutraceuticals and How Will They Benefit You?

It was Hippocrates who famously said, “Let food be your medicine.” Of course, over the years too many people have largely ignored this sage advice as can be seen from this study on The Role of Functional Foods, Nutraceuticals and Food Supplements in Intestinal Health which comments, “New eating habits, actual trends in production and consumption have a health, environmental and social impact. The European Union is fighting diseases characteristic of a modern age, such as obesity, osteoporosis, cancer, diabetes, allergies and dental problems. Developed countries are also faced with problems relating to aging populations, high energy foods, and unbalanced diets.”  

We really are what we eat. But with the social and economic issues surrounding access to good, healthy, wholesome food,  more people are getting sick with preventable, lifestyle illnesses.

The Role of Nutraceuticals

The term “nutraceuticals” was coined back in 1989 by Stephen DeFelice of the Foundation for Innovative Medicine in the U.S. It blends the words “nutrient” with “pharmaceutical” effectively pointing to a merging of nourishing food components as medicine.

They are generally grouped as dietary supplements, functional food, medicinal food and farmaceuticals.

An article in News Medical has this to say of nutraceuticals; “Therefore nutraceuticals may be used to improve health, prevent chronic diseases, postpone the ageing process (and in turn increase life expectancy), or just support functions and integrity of the body. They are considered to be healthy sources for prevention of life-threatening diseases such as diabetes, renal and gastrointestinal disorders, as well as different infections.

“A wide range of nutraceuticals have been shown to impose crucial roles in immune status and susceptibility to certain disease states. They also exhibit diseases modifying indications related to oxidative stress including allergy, Alzheimer's disease, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, eye conditions, Parkinson's diseases and obesity.”

Essentially, nutraceuticals offer foundational health benefits as well as performing a preventative function.

Examples of Nutraceuticals

So, we know that nutraceuticals are a sound, medical choice for overall health and wellness, as well as working to prevent and cure certain illnesses. But what exactly are we referring to?

  • Fortified dairy products

  • Vitamins

  • Probiotic yoghurts

  • Citrus fruits (Orange juice, for example)

  • Fish oil capsules

  • Herb extracts

  • Garlic capsules

Would you like to know more about the role of nutraceuticals and how they can benefit you personally?

Dr Sanua has been practising naturopathy for years and is a firm proponent of giving the body what it needs to fix itself. Why not book your consultation with him today?


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