Home » Nutraceuticals: The Superfoods!

Nutraceuticals: The Superfoods!

Here’s how a Nutraceutical word came from!

NutraceuticalNutrition + Pharmaceutical

Nutraceutical is the word that everyone is hearing in these days. To some extent people are now becoming more aware of the foods which they consume because in these days when we step out from our homes we just find junk foods out there and are very much tempted to it. Hence to move away from such cravings, people are now thinking more wisely before they consume any food and are health conscious too.

So, first let us know what actually a Nutraceutical is and how it affects our body.

Basically, Nutraceutical is a food that provides medicinal or health benefits. Besides, these foods can prevent and treat a disease too.

And I have a question which makes you think!!

We are grateful for having such food that has medicinal properties and health benefits. So why do people go for junk food and fall ill, then go to a hospital to treat it by consuming antibiotics??

Does it make sense?

It’s obviously no, right!!

Because already Nutraceuticals have medicinal properties. We can Just add it to our diet before medicines take that role.

So, now let’s understand more about the Nutraceutical Foods

Nutraceutical Foods

The food products used as nutraceuticals can be categorized as

  • dietary fiber
  • prebiotics
  • probiotics
  • antioxidants
  • Polyunsaturated fatty acids

These are the few categories of foods that are considered Nutraceuticals.

  1. Dietary fiber

Dietary fiber is also known as roughage, obtained from plant-based foods but cannot be completely digested or absorbed by human digestive enzymes.


  • Helps in maintaining bowel health
  • Controls blood sugar levels
  • Lowers cholesterol

Sources- Beans, berries, apples, dried fruits, whole grains

  1. Prebiotics

Prebiotics are considered as plant fibers which help in the growth of beneficial microflora in the gut. Prebiotics are carbohydrates where our body cannot digest it. So, they enter into the lower digestive tract to help in the growth of healthy bacteria.


  • Helps in absorption of calcium
  • Prevents constipation
  • Controls obesity

Sources- Apple, banana, cocoa, garlic, green vegetables, Onion, tomatoes.

Prebiotics are in the form of- Galacto oligosaccharides, Fructo oligosaccharide, Oligofructose, Chicory fiber, Inulin

  1. Probiotics

Probiotics are good living bacteria/yeasts which give health benefits when consumed.

Types of probiotics-

  1. Lactobacillus

This probiotic might be the most popular one. It’s the one that yogurt and other fermented foods contain. Various strains may benefit people who are unable to digest lactose, the sugar in milk, as well as those who have diarrhea.

  1. Bifidobacterium

 It is present in a few dairy products. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and several other illnesses’ symptoms could be reduced by it.

  1. Saccharomyces boulardii 

 It is a yeast found in probiotics. It appears to help fight diarrhea and other digestive problems. Here’s what to look for when choosing the best probiotic for women and men.


Probiotics treat with-

  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
  • Infectious diarrhea (caused by viruses, bacteria, or parasites)
  • Diarrhea caused by antibiotics


  • Yogurt
  • Buttermilk
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Tempeh
  • Sauerkraut
  • Miso Soup
  1. Antioxidants

 Antioxidants are the compounds prevent oxidation, a chemical process that can result in the production of free radicals. Autoxidation causes organic molecules, including living things, to deteriorate.


1.  reduce oxidative stress

2.  support disease prevention

3.  support eye health

4.  aid in brain function

5.  can contribute to mental health improvements

6.  reduce inflammation

7. support healthy aging processes

8. keep the skin healthy


  • allium sulphur compounds – leeks, onions and garlic
  • anthocyanins – eggplant, grapes and berries
  • beta-carotene – pumpkin, mangoes, apricots, carrots, spinach and parsley
  • catechins – red wine and tea
  • copper – seafood, lean meat, milk and nuts
  • cryptoxanthins – red capsicum, pumpkin and mangoes
  • flavonoids – tea, green tea, citrus fruits, red wine, onion and apples
  • indoles – cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower
  • isoflavonoids – soybeans, tofu, lentils, peas and milk
  • lignans – sesame seeds, bran, whole grains and vegetables
  1. Polyunstaurated Fatty acids

Benefits of omega-3 fatty acids

 They assist:

  • Decrease the amount of the lipid triglycerides in your blood
  • lowering the possibility of getting irregular heartbeats (arrhythmia)
  • Cut down the formation of plaque, a fatty, cholesterolous, and calcium-containing material that can harden and clog your arteries.
  • Reduce your blood pressure a little.

Omega-6 fatty acids could benefit:

  • regulate your blood sugar
  • lowered risk of developing diabetes
  • Get more hypertensive


α-linolenic acid (ALA),

 stearidonic acid (SDA),

 eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), 

docosapentaenoic acid (DPA) and 

docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)


  • Sunflower, corn, soybean, and flaxseed oils.
  • Walnuts.
  • Flax seeds.
  • Fish.
  • Canola oil – though higher in monounsaturated fat, it’s also a good source of polyunsaturated fat

Nutraceuticals also exhibit disease-modifying indications related to oxidative stress including allergies, Alzheimer’s disease, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, eye conditions, Parkinson’s diseases, and obesity.

Here are the few foods with high nutraceutical content

Nutraceutical SubstanceFoods with High nutraceutical content
LycopeneTomatoes and their products
AnthocyanatesRed wine
Allyl sulfur compoundsOnions, garlic
EPA and DHAFish oils
IndolesCabbage, broccoli, cauliflower
CatechinsGrapes, Tea, cocoa, apples, berries
ResveratrolGrapes(skin), red wine
IsoflavonesSoybeans, legumes

Nutraceutical Vs Dietary supplement

People are often confused between Nutraceutical and dietary supplements.

Now, I’ll try to make you clear about it.

Dietary supplements are the categories of Nutraceuticals. Now, it’s clear that all dietary supplements are nutraceuticals but not all nutraceuticals are dietary supplements.

As we have discussed above, Nutraceuticals are foods or parts of foods that provide medicinal and health benefits. On the other hand, dietary supplements are not represented as a portion of conventional food, rather it is meant to supplement the diet by increasing the total daily intake.

Have you wondered about Nutraceutical regulations?

Yes, Nutraceuticals are regulated in India.

Manufacture, storage, distribution, sale, and import of nutraceuticals in India are regulated under the Food Safety and Standards Act of 2006.

But surprisingly FDA does not approve Nutraceuticals instead FDA issues regulations about ingredients, labelling, registration, etc. and it is the industry’s responsibility to comply with these regulations.

As we have seen the surprising benefits of a Nutraceutical, then why can’t we call it a superfood??

Yes! NUTRACEUTICAL can definitely be called a SUPERFOOD!!

At the last, I would like to say that just have nutraceuticals in your diet to prevent yourself from diseases.”Beyond the Diet, Before the Drugs!

More Reading

Post navigation

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *