Nutraceuticals is a term that dates back over twenty years. It was first introduced by a doctor named Stephen DeFelice. The basic concept behind the term was to have a combination of the terms pharmaceuticals and nutrition. This is a vague term that is used to describe many different supplements which origin from various plants.

These supplements must offer health benefits to your body or are required to provide you with various nutrients (such as protein) that you may not consume enough of each day. There are also various foods that can be categorized as nutraceuticals but they are more commonly known as functional foods. Most of these foods would be a great addition to any diet as they have various health benefits and can allow you to get all the necessary nutrients in your diet every single day.

Functional Foods
There are many different possible examples of functional foods. Many foods that are spiked with vitamins are a prime example of functional foods. For instance, milk with a strong content of vitamin D would be considered a functional food (or drink).

The term nutraceuticals more often refers to dietary supplements than functional foods but each have great benefits to your body’s health. If you are going to go through the effort of investing in nutraceutical supplements then you probably should consider adding functional foods to your diet as well.

Natural Benefits of Using Nutraceuticals

One of the great things about nutraceutical products is that they are natural. There is no chemical reproduction process for preparing these products. Nutraceuticals contain actual food substances instead of using synthetic ingredients that are created from a chemical reproduction process with food substances.

The benefits from using nutraceutical supplements will depend on the particular supplement that is used. One of the most effective supplements that fits under this category would be the folic acid supplement. Statistics have shown us that women who take folic acid supplements prior to pregnancy will have a decreased risk of their baby developing neural tube defects.

There are many other benefits to using nutraceuticals but they will vary by supplement. Keep in mind that it is not entirely the fact that these supplements are neutraceuticals but rather this is a broad term used to describe many different supplements in general.

Final Thoughts
There are many different supplements that are considered to be nutraceuticals. Various vitamins, herbal supplements, and more, are all prime examples of effective nutraceuticals that can have great health benefits if used regularly.

If there is a need for a certain supplement in your diet then you should consider using a supplement that is categorized as a nutraceutical. You may also want to look further into functional foods and the benefits they offer. The specific supplements or functional foods that you should consume will depend on your health problem and what your goal is. Treat nutraceutical as a medicine and only use it with a doctor’s permission and when necessary. There could be potentially dangerous interactions if used with other medicine so you will need your doctor’s opinion before using these supplements.

To conclude, nutraceuticals can be beneficial to those that need it but make sure that you are in the right condition to use them before medicating yourself with them and get advice from your doctor as well.

Last updated on Mar 25th, 2010 and filed under Nutritional Information. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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