What are Nutraceuticals?

What are Nutraceuticals?

Do you have nutraceuticals available in YOUR kitchen?

It seems as though every day we are introduced to a new health term. So, what are nutraceuticals?

Derived from the words “nutrition” and “pharmaceuticals,” the term “nutraceutical” was coined in 1989 by Dr. S. DeFelice. The term is used to describe any product that is derived from food sources that offer extra health benefits in addition to the nutritional value of the food.

Nutraceuticals are used to prevent and treat diseases by keeping the body healthy. The importance of nutrition is becoming clear to many people as scientists and nutritionists continue to study the correlation between many diseases and nutrition.

People are becoming more conscious of what they eat, as it becomes clear that poor nutritional habits can cause some of the serious diseases and health conditions out there.

Nutraceutical foods can either be functional foods or medicinal foods.

  • Functional food is food that is prepared in a scientific way, with or without the knowledge of why it is being used. This type of food provides the body with the required amounts of all types of nutrients. Examples include whole foods, fortified, and enriched foods. Functional foods are the most commonly used nutraceutical foods.
  • Medical food, on the other hand, is food that is made to be administered internally under supervision of a doctor. This is only done after the person has been evaluated, and certain nutritional requirements established.

nutraceutical foods


Let’s explore what nutraceuticals are in a bit more depth:

  • What is nutraceutical food? A nutraceutical food is any type of food that is believed to offer more than just nutritional value to a person.


  • What is an example of a nutraceutical?A nutraceutical can be a nutrient-rich food, medicinally active food, or a specific component of a particular food, according to medicine net. Examples include garlic, omega 3 (found in fish), soybeans, ginger, minerals, vitamins, dietary fibre, hydrolyzed proteins, fortified foods, enriched foods, and so much more.


  • What is the difference between nutraceuticals and dietary supplements? Dietary supplements are a category of nutraceuticals. This means that all dietary supplements are nutraceuticals but not all nutraceuticals are dietary supplements. Some nutraceuticals are foods, while others are components of food. A dietary supplement is not represented for use as a conventional food; rather it is meant to supplement the diet by increasing the total daily intake.


  • Are nutraceuticals regulated by the FDA? To further understand what nutraceuticals are, it is important to consider their regulation for use and sale. The FDA is responsible for regulating food, drugs, and additives; nutraceuticals do not fall under any of these categories. This means therefore that nutraceuticals are not directly regulated by the FDA.

For dietary supplements, the law states that the manufacturer is responsible for ensuring that the supplements are not harmful before they are released to the masses.

If a supplement is harmful, the FDA takes action against the manufacturer of that supplement. Functional foods, on the other hand, cannot be sold with health claims on them.

Health claims are only allowed for medicinal products in most countries, which means therefore that they would require a medicine license. They are also not under the regulation of the FDA.

Nutraceuticals are revolutionizing the way people maintain health and keep diseases away. They are natural, and therefore highly preferred by many people.