The nutraceuticals foods they are also called drug-foods because they have an active function on some physiological processes and consequently on human health. Still other ways to call them are farm foods, alicamenti, functional foods or pharma food.
In reality, the overlapping of definitions creates a bit of confusion by mixing different things. In fact, nutraceutical food refers to the single substance with particular properties present within a food, while the term farm food (or functional food) identifies the whole food as having beneficial properties. It is not the same and when it comes to nutraceuticals other terms should not be mixed.
Of nutraceuticals we talk more and more often because research has been making progress since food-pharmaceuticals became a subject of study, that is, for just over twenty years. There nutraceuticals it is in fact a recent 'discipline' and the term (synchrases of 'nutrition' and 'pharmaceutical') was used for the first time in 1989 by Dr. Stephen Defelice.
Much older than the invention of the term 'nutraceuticals’Are instead the testimonies and evidence of the effectiveness of foods used as medicines for the prevention and treatment of diseases. One is, for example, in a famous phrase by Hippocrates, the 'father' of Western medicine: 'Let food be your medicine and your medicine be food'. Others, very numerous, are in Ayurveda, traditional Indian medicine, or in the traditions of the Chinese, Egyptians and Sumerians.
One of the most significant opportunities for deepening the nutraceuticals it is the manifestation SANA - International Exhibition of Organic and Natural which takes place in Bologna in September. The program of the 2014 edition includes, for example, a conference on the use of nutraceutical foods for the prevention of cardiovascular, digestive and cancer diseases, and another on methodologies for evaluating the nutraceutical activity of food matrices.
But what are the nutraceuticals foods? Speaking of whole foods, therefore of functional foods or alicaliments (see above), the most cited are red grapes, which contain the antioxidant resveratrol; broccoli, considered effective in the prevention of some cancers, in particular of the intestine; soy, due to its content in isoflavones that help keep the arteries clean; red wine for resveratrol, goat's milk and fruit in general.
Speaking instead of nutraceuticals, therefore with reference to the individual substances contained in foods, we mention the flavonoids contained in linseed or sage, linseed or sage, beta-carotene contained in calendula petals and anthocyanins contained in blackberries and blueberries. Also well known are the omega-3s contained in all derivatives offish oil.
However, the subject is too vast to be exhausted in a few lines and for further information, I refer you to two texts that you can also buy online on Amazon. Below you will find the links and good reading.
Nutraceuticals and nutrigenomics
Nutraceuticals to functional foods in preventive medicine
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