[Article updated on 19/09/2023]
In a society in constant search of well-being and balance, nutraceuticals represent a real revolution in the field of health. Coming from the contraction of the terms “nutrients” and “pharmaceuticals”, they offer a new approach to prevention and care, focused on a diet enriched with substances beneficial to our body. Find out how these “ nutraceuticals » improve our quality of life and strengthen our immune system.
Before reading on
I’m not an expert in this field, but I am passionate about nutrition and health.
The articles you’ll find on my site are the result of in-depth research that I’d like to share with you. However, I would like to stress that I am not a health professional and that my advice should in no way replace that of a qualified physician. I’m here to guide you, but it’s important that you consult a professional for specific questions or medical concerns. Your well-being is important. So be sure to consult the appropriate experts and take the best possible care of yourself.
Understanding the basics of nutraceuticals: a science for health
The term “nutraceutical” was created by Dr. Stephen L. DeFelice in 1989 to define foods or ingredients that are associated with specific health benefits. These products come from plants, animals or microorganisms which contain bioactive compounds having positive effects on our health.
Classification of nutraceuticals
There are different categories of nutraceuticals, including:
- Nutrients : vitamins, minerals, amino acids, essential fatty acids and other substances necessary for the optimal functioning of our body.
- Phytonutrients : plant compounds that have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer and other properties.
- Probiotics : live microorganisms that promote the balance of intestinal flora and strengthen our immune system.
- Enzymes : proteins that facilitate chemical reactions in our body and support our metabolism.
Their mode of action
Nutraceuticals act on different targets in our body, in particular:
- Prevention of chronic diseases, thanks to their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory action.
- Regulation of metabolism, improving glycemic and lipid control.
- Stimulating the immune system, strengthening our natural defenses against infections and diseases.
- Improving digestive health, by promoting the balance of intestinal flora and stimulating intestinal function.
Concrete examples of nutraceuticals: diversity and effectiveness
Among the most popular nutraceuticals recognized for their health benefits, we can notably cite:
These essential fatty acids are present in fatty fish, flaxseeds and nuts. They have been shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease thanks to their anti-inflammatory and anticoagulant action.
These plant compounds are mainly found in fruits, vegetables, green tea and cocoa. They have powerful antioxidant properties that protect our cells against damage caused by free radicals and prevent premature aging.
This yellow spice is known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which promote the prevention of chronic diseases such as cancer, neurological disorders and cardiovascular diseases.
Present in certain yogurts, cheeses and food supplements, probiotics help maintain the balance of intestinal flora and strengthen our immune system.
How to integrate nutraceuticals into your daily life: tips and tricks
To take full advantage of the benefits of nutraceuticals and adopt a healthy and balanced diet, here are some recommendations:
- Focus on diversity : vary the sources of nutrients, by regularly consuming fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, fatty fish and nuts.
- Choose fresh, unprocessed foods : nutraceuticals are often destroyed or altered by cooking and industrial processes. Therefore, prefer raw and organic products to preserve their nutritional qualities.
- Adapt your diet to your specific needs : each individual is unique and may require supplementation with certain substances to fill their deficiencies or support their body in the face of the challenges of modern life (stress, pollution, intense physical activity, etc.).
- Consult a healthcare professional : before embarking on the consumption of nutraceuticals, it is recommended to seek the advice of a doctor, a dietitian or a pharmacist to establish a program adapted to your needs and monitor their progress.
In short, nutraceuticals represent a promising alternative for improving our health and preventing chronic diseases through a healthy diet enriched with beneficial components. Do not hesitate to explore this exciting area and integrate these “nutraceuticals” into your daily life to fully benefit from their benefits on your well-being.