The Current Nutraceutical Market
While the nutraceutical market still lags far, far behind the traditional retail food market, nutraceuticals are gaining ground as people become more aware of the need to manage their health through food and supplements first, rather than prescription medications.
Some confusion runs around the nutraceutical definition since it has morphed over the years. Originally coined in 1989 by Dr. Stephen L. DeFelice, nutraceuticals are food or parts of food (nutrients) that have medicinal (pharmaceutical) properties to prevent or treat diseases.
For example, blueberries are considered a nutraceutical food due to their very high antioxidant properties. When the cells in our body use oxygen, a resulting byproduct is free radicals, which cause oxidative damage to our bodies.
Anti-oxidants are known as free radical scavengers. They prevent free radical damage or even repair free radical damage, thus slowing, preventing, or even reversing age-related diseases and issues. Anti oxidants are crucial in an anti-aging plan. And blueberries have probably the highest anti-oxidant concentration of any food. So, a cup or two of fresh blueberries is a fantastic anti-aging, nutraceutical food.
Other nutraceuticals are specific nutrients, such as folic acid which has been found to prevent neural tube defects such as spina bifida in newborn children.
One advantage the nutraceutical market has over that of the pharmaceutical industry is that nutraceuticals are naturally found in many foods we eat normally – or at least foods we can eat normally. They may not be a part of our diet now, but are very easy to incorporate. It’s so easy, you can start adding nutraceuticals to your diet today!
There are even nutraceutical beverages. Energy drinks are gaining more and more popularity, but it’s not just energy boosting benefits they offer. Many drinks are being supplemented with brain boosting nutrients like ginko biloba, taurine and other vitamins, minerals and herbs.
Nutraceuticals come in all shapes and forms – some you have to purchase from nutraceutical companies, others you can purchase in your grocery store.
Foods in the store might include the beverages we discussed earlier, or natural fruits and vegetables already full of anti-oxidants and other anti-aging, pro-health nutrients, or they can even include the growing line of genetically engineered foods (sometimes called “designer foods”) which are fortified with calcium, herbals, and other body-beneficial ingredients.
The nutraceutical market is an important part of the future of anti-aging, especially when you consider so much of what happens to our bodies happens because of what we feed it. An unhealthy diet, we know, leads to obesity, diabetes, heart disease and other illnesses brought on by food laden with growth hormones, antibiotics and other chemicals.
So naturally, a healthy diet will prevent such illnesses and diseases, and even reverse it. Eating a raw food diet (or at least a diet high in raw foods), for example, which is packed with natural nutraceuticals, will not only cause weight loss, but has enabled people to get completely off diabetic, high blood pressure and thyroid medications. It also takes years off a person’s face, making them look years younger in only a matter of a few weeks or months in most cases.
Experts on juice feasting (that’s feast, not fast, where you drink 4 quarts of fresh, life-giving juice each day) say that you can reverse your body’s age by 120 days (4 months!) for each day you drink nothing but nutrient packed juices.
Juicing your own fruits and vegetables is a great way to get more of the essential nutrients needed for a healthy body. It does take some time but it is worth it. If you are short on time there are excellent choices available commercially. There are many great juices out there. There are also many great products like green juice powders, vegetable powders, and various fruit powders to give you more concentrated sources of nutrients. Juices and juice powders that include superfruits such as acai, noni, goji, black currants, blackberries, pomegranates, and mangosteen are becoming quite popular due to their exceptional benefits.
One of the best tasting commercially prepared juices I have found on the nutraceutical market is CurrantC. The black currant has been tested for nutritional value and has been shown to have a higher antioxidant activity (or ORAC value) than even blueberries. Check them out at CurrantC.com. They have very reasonable prices and excellent products.
So, you can begin taking in age-reversing nutraceuticals simply with a visit to your grocery store. Other supplements you may need to get from a health food store or one of the many nutraceutical companies such as Nutraceutical International, who has been in business since 1932, providing thousands of high quality, anti aging, nutraceutical products to nutraceutical markets across the country.
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