What is a Nutraceutical?
A nutraceutical is a term used to describe a food or food product that provides medical or health benefits, including the prevention and treatment of disease. It is a combination of the words "nutrition" and "pharmaceutical", and it refers to products that are derived from food sources and used to supplement the diet. Nutraceuticals can come in the form of supplements, fortified foods, and functional foods.
Supplements are products that are intended to supplement the diet and provide essential nutrients that may be missing from the diet. These can include vitamins, minerals, herbs, and amino acids.
Fortified foods are foods that have had additional nutrients added to them, such as vitamins and minerals. These foods can include breakfast cereals, bread, and milk.
Functional foods are foods that have been modified or specially processed to provide additional health benefits beyond basic nutrition. Examples of functional foods include yogurt with added probiotics, fortified orange juice with added calcium, and eggs with added omega-3 fatty acids.
Nutraceuticals can provide a variety of health benefits such as reducing the risk of chronic diseases, improving cardiovascular health, supporting brain function, and improving digestion and gut health. They are often used as an alternative to traditional pharmaceuticals and can be used to complement or enhance the effects of prescription drugs. However, it is important to note that nutraceuticals are not intended to be used as a substitute for a healthy diet and lifestyle.