It seems that pursuing a healthy lifestyle has never been more prevalent than it is in our day and age. With the internet and multitudes of social media, it has made it so easy to obtain information regarding ways to improve one’s health.  Ebooks can be downloaded instantly and products can be purchased on Amazon and shipped to your home within a day.

As a person starts the journey of healthy living, they will soon come across a term that they might not be familiar with, nutraceutical. Brian Lockwood in his book, Nutraceuticals, defines a nutraceutical as “a medical or nutritional component that includes a food, plant, or naturally occurring material, which may have been purified or concentrated, and that is used for the improvement of health, by preventing or treating a disease.”  In the following paragraphs, I would like to take a look at the roles that this little understood health product has in a healthy lifestyle.

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Most people know what a crucial role prevention plays in achieving a healthy body.  Ideally eating a whole foods diet, getting plenty of rest and sleep, and exercise would be enough to prevent a disease from occurring but sadly that isn’t the case sometimes.  There are also people who are just too busy in our fast paced society who would rather supplement than make healthy meal choices.  Nutraceuticals have been studied and continue to be studied to validate their part in obtaining and maintaing health.  They can be used for prevention of many diseases that affect areas of the body such as joints, skin, eyes, and bones.  Nutraceuticals have been shown to help with weight management which can ultimately prevent diseases associated with being overweight.  They have also been shown to help in the prevention of cancer.  Many athletes can benefit from these supplements to help with sports enhancement.  Women’s health and mental health have greatly benefited from nutraceuticals.

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Prevention is always the preference but when that isn’t the case there is still hope that the consumption of certain supplements in the nutraceutical family can help in the treatment of many diseases and health conditions.   A number of nutraceuticals have been shown to be effective in improving bone health for people suffering from osteoporosis, easing menopausal symptoms, and providing antioxidants to name a few.  They have also been shown to help with inflammatory conditions which can be so dangerous in asthma sufferers.  As more research data becomes available from clinical trials, we will see even more benefits that nutraceuticals can provide in helping fight diseases.

Nutraceuticals also give people a natural option to use when trying to prevent or treat a disease.  Many pharmaceuticals that are available come with many side effects.  More and more people seem to be taking charge of their health and doing research instead of just taking a doctor’s instruction without question. There are also those people that take the pharmaceuticals offered only to be frustrated that they aren’t curing the problem.  Nutraceuticals play a role in offering an alternative to people who have experienced failure with conventional medicine.

Common health topics and a few corresponding nutraceuticals 

 

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As you can see, nutraceuticals have roles to play in a healthy lifestyle.  From prevention or treatment of a disease to enhancing the body’s performance, these supplements have been shown to carry many benefits.  When used correctly and appropriately, nutraceuticals can be a great addition to any home. Before starting a nutraceutical or any dietary supplement please consult with your primary care physician.

Email if you would like to schedule a one on one consultation to see how nutraceuticals might be beneficial to your health tonya@firstfruitswellness.com

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Reference used for this post

Rapport, L. (2007). Nutraceuticals: A guide for healthcare professionals. (2nd ed.). London: Pharmaceutical Press.