Ever came across dietary supplements that promised health benefits? Chances are they were nutraceuticals.
Nutraceuticals are substances that have a positive effect on human health. It is a common commercial term used for foods and food products that can have health benefits or prevent certain diseases.
Herbal products, prebiotics, probiotics, vitamins, minerals, dietary fibers, dietary enzymes, phytonutrients, and food supplements are different types of nutraceuticals.
They are highly beneficial in the prevention and treatment of diseases. Besides, they have many health benefits including physiological benefits, prevention of chronic diseases, promotion of a longer life span. They also ensure structural and functional support of our body and an overall improvement in health.
Let’s find out what nutraceuticals really are, their composition, and most importantly, their top impacts on our health.
What are Nutraceuticals
The phrase nutraceutical came from ‘nutrition and ‘pharmaceutical’ and was coined by Stephen Defelice in 1989. In his words, “a nutraceutical is any substance that is a food or a part of a food and provides medical or health benefits, including the prevention and treatment of disease”. This covers products like dietary supplements, isolated nutrients, and certain diets that contained specific foods and products. Unlike drugs, Nutraceuticals are substances that occur naturally and are not synthesized for a specific purpose.
There are two broad categories of nutraceuticals:
1. Potential nutraceuticals: this kind of nutraceutical only promises a medical benefit. They don’t have scientific backing to prove their medical benefit.
2. Established nutraceuticals: these nutraceuticals have scientific proof of their health benefits. Potential nutraceuticals undergo clinical testing and if they succeed, they become established nutraceuticals.
What are the major components of Nutraceuticals?
Most nutraceuticals are composed of probiotics, prebiotics, vitamins, minerals, proteins, carbohydrates, fiber, plant extracts, essential oils, enzymes, omega fatty acids, amino acids, and lipids.
Nutraceuticals are broadly classified into the following categories: dietary supplements, functional foods, and medicinal foods. Based on food sources, they can be classified into the following groups:
These live microbial supplements help improve intestinal health by maintaining microbial balance. When you take these Nutraceuticals, you reduce the risk of allergies, cancer, ear and urinary tract infection, and asthma.
These Nutraceuticals help improve the composition of our gut microbiota. They occur naturally or are taken through supplements. Either way, they don’t get digested. Food items like beans, tomato, banana, and alliums contain prebiotics. Note that they play a key role in relieving us from constipation. They also promote detoxification.
3. Antioxidant vitamins
Vitamins like Vitamin C, E, and carotenoids are called Antioxidant vitamins. Fruits like strawberries, raspberries, apple, and papaya contain these in abundance. Their regular consumption helps to keep many diseases at bay.
Polyphenols are phytochemicals found in plants. Examples are phenolic acids, anthocyanins, and flavonoids. They are used to relieve inflammation and to impart antioxidant characteristics. Items like soybean, tea, and legumes have healthy quantities of polyphenols.
5. Dietary fibers
Dietary fibers are plant-based substances that don’t undergo digestion within our gastrointestinal tract and go to the intestines instead. They help reduce the risk of diabetes, colon cancer, hypertension, gastrointestinal disorders, and obesity. Fruits, oats, barley, cellulose, and pectin are excellent sources of dietary fibers.
Spices enhance the sensory quality of food items and are used as taste enhancers. Dietary spices have anti-inflammatory, immune-boosting, and antioxidant properties. Don’t forget to spice up your dishes, they’re good for your health.
7. Polyunsaturated fatty acids
These include omega 3 fatty acids or omega 6 fatty acids. Their best sources are fatty fish, soybeans, flaxseeds, sunflower, and corn. By reducing the quantity of bad cholesterol in our blood they lower the risk of heart diseases.
Top 5 impacts of Nutraceuticals on health
Nutraceuticals can be highly beneficial to health if consumed habitually. They can help keep health issues away and treat diseases too. Here are the top 5 health impacts you can receive from nutraceuticals.
1. Prevents diseases
The key health impact of nutraceuticals is that they prevent many dangerous diseases including heart diseases, cancer, diabetes, and obesity. Read on to understand more about them.
Protection from Cardiovascular Diseases
Nutraceuticals such as flavanones, flavones, and flavonoids, found in onions, berries, cruciferous vegetables, and cherries can lower the risk of Cardio Vascular Diseases. They inhibit an enzyme and pathway that raises blood pressure. They also reduce platelet collection. The flavonoid group helps make capillaries stronger. Meanwhile, polyphenols in grapes improve cellular metabolism and reduce the risk of arterial diseases.When combined with a healthy lifestyle, nutraceuticals with lipid-control properties can significantly reduce Cardio Vascular Diseases.
Nutraceuticals are strong enough to prevent cancer-causing conditions. For instance, herbal nutraceuticals contain anti-carcinogenic and anti-mutagenic features. Antioxidant actions of lycopene and carotenoids help prevent cancer. They control the DNA transcription of tumors.
Ginseng protects the cancer-affected regions from chronic inflammation. Note that orange and yellow colored fruits contain beta carotene, a strong antimutagenic and anti-carcinogenic substance. Cruciferous vegetables lower the risk of lung and colorectal cancer. These items can keep cancer at bay.
Prevents Diabetes and Obesity
Nutraceuticals provide relief from type 2 diabetes. Omega 3 fatty acids and soy isoflavones are mainly responsible for this. They promote insulin sensitivity and keep blood sugar levels normal. Nutraceuticals with calcium, magnesium, vitamin D, and chromium raise insulin sensitivity, while green tea increases insulin resistance.
Nutraceuticals also keep our body weight in check. For instance, psyllium, capsaicin, and linoleic acid have strong anti-obese qualities. Further, nutraceuticals like green tea, fenugreek, chitosan, curcumin, vitamin C, and caffeine help reduce body weight.
2. Improves Life Span
Nutraceuticals contained in soybean and citrus fruits benefit autophagy (the process by which our body consumes its own tissues). This helps increase our lifespans.
Besides, fruits and vegetables contain Rosmarinic acid and Caffeic acid, which have multiple benefits. These are anti-rheumatic, antimicrobial, and anti-carcinogenic. All these promote a longer lifespan in us.
3. Improves Gastrointestinal Health
Millions worldwide suffer from gastrointestinal issues. Nutraceuticals are a sure remedy for these. These substances can bring down the oxidative and antigenic damage on our gastrointestinal tracts. Prebiotics are particularly strong as a healer and a preventer when it comes to gastrointestinal issues.
Both flavonoids and polyphenols have antioxidant properties. They act as cytoprotective and gastroprotective agents.
Herbal nutraceuticals like probiotics are crucial in keeping our digestive systems healthy. They can accelerate the growth of beneficial microbes and keep away the harmful ones. Further, they can stop GI tract problems and keep down lactose intolerance. Overall they can control the body’s gut defense system.
4. Maintain Healthy Nutrient Levels
Nutraceuticals include many essential nutrients like fiber, healthy fat, vitamins and minerals. Adding Nutraceuticals to your daily diet can help you maintain healthy levels of nutrients in your body. Ever since nutraceutical supplements became accessible for the public, nutrient deficiency has declined around the world. A case in point would be Jordan, where the introduction of iron-fortified wheat reduced anemia by 50% among kids.
Fortified foods also help to prevent goiter and rickets—diseases caused by nutrient deficiency.
5. Promotes Growth and Development
Nutraceuticals are essential for the proper growth and development of infants and kids. Including them in the daily diet will take care of all nutrient needs.
Besides, having fortified nutrient-rich food with specific nutrients will support proper growth and development. For instance, folic acid is necessary for fetal growth. Having cereals, flours, and grains containing fortified vitamin B supports the proper development of the fetus.
Low folic acid levels in our body can lead to neural tube defects. This impacts the spinal cord and the brain. Consuming more folic acid can reduce this risk by a long way.
Nutrients like iron, omega 3 fatty acids, calcium, vitamin B12, and zinc play a key role in development and growth. Consuming Nutraceuticals containing these can keep the growth phase normal and healthy.
How Tru Herb provides the best quality ingredients?
Tru Herb is into manufacturing of Botanical Ingredients which are used in various industries ranging from Nutraceutical, Cosmetics, Functional food & beverages, Sports, & Animal nutrition.
All our products are compliant to global standards and our partnered manufacturing facilities are certified to match global standards. We adhere to US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), European Union (EU) and International Organization for Standardization (ISO) regulation and guidelines.
We are committed to delivering high-quality raw materials and we understand the value of consistency in the business of raw material supply.
We are particularly well established in dealing with the following:
➢ Standardised Herbal Extracts & Botanical Powders
➢ Natural Food Colours & Flavours
➢ Organic Superfood Powders & Extracts
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