National Week of Nutrition 2020 : Surprising Medicinal Properties Of Food
Each year from 1 September to 7 September, the National Nutrition Week can be considered a significant period of time for raising awareness of the therapeutic benefits of foods. Food can have significant medicinal value, in its most organic or raw form, to help keep chronic diseases in a bay. "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food," said Hippocrates (460-377 BC), the well-known father of modern medicine, in order to predict the relationship between healthy food and therapeutic advantages. Even today, the truth in this saying is widely recognized, and is gaining momentum.
Nutraceuticals and Functional Foods
The word "nutraceuticals" is an amalgamation of "nutrition" and "pharmaceutical" which specifically means a nutritional supplement obtained from natural food for the prevention, control, or treatment of diseases. Functional foods are raw or cooked foods that benefit from health and are not typically consumed as dietary supplements.
Beneficial plant-based compounds and how they can benefit your health
Macronutrients such as carbohydrates , fats , proteins, and micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals along with phytochemicals all make an important contribution to human wellbeing and well-being. Important plant compounds and their resulting therapeutic health benefits are listed below:
Lycopene: Cherry tomatoes, pink grapefruit, guava, papaya, and watermelon are found. Lycopene has high antioxidant potential and can guard against cancer, especially breast, ovarian, and cervical cancer. Lycopene containing fruits and vegetables exerts a cancer-protective effect through a reduction in oxidative and other DNA damage.
Resveratrol: present in bananas, almonds, chocolate, raisins and blueberries. Resveratrol helps control blood pressure, helps decrease elevated levels of cholesterol and reduces the risk of heart failure and cancer. It also serves as an anti-inflammatory factor, which can prevent cancer cell growth. The skin of dark grapes has the highest resveratrol value.
Phenolic acids: Present in bananas, cherries, grapes, kiwi, barley, oats and vegetables. Phenolic acids are strongly anti-inflammatory and easily absorbed by the body. It helps resist cell damage and decreases bad cholesterol (LDL) accumulation and thus lowers the risk of cardiac failure.
Saponins: Antitumor and antimutagenic activity in saponins is documented and can minimize the risk of human cancer by preventing the development of cancer cells. Saponins can be present in rice, soybeans, broccoli, kale, celery, onion, cabbage, alfalfa and clover. These are phytochemicals. It also can support lower levels of cholesterol, which may strengthen the immune system.
Anthocyanins: The pigments give the rich red color to the cranberries. They are present in blueberries and blackberries as well. Anthocyanins are potent anti-oxidant, non-inflammatory activity in the body, and reduced blood sugar levels in diabetes patients. The powerful anti-obesity benefits of anthocyanins will help you control your weight better. They have antibacterial characteristics and can sustain bacterial contamination in a port.
- Ellagic acid: found in the best sources, red raspberry seeds and strawberries, cranberries, walnutes, pequans, pomegranates. It can also be found in peaches and grenades. Ellagic acid and resveratrol are two key elements to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease and cancer. It can prevent different infections and help your body naturally detoxify.
This National Nutrition Week, let food be your medicine
For a long time, natural products obtained mainly from plants have been used as a prominent source of therapeutic agents for the prevention and treatment of many chronic diseases. Diet alone may not replace medicines in all possible circumstances but it can definitely build the foundation of a strong and healthy body system that requires the least dependency on medicines.
- Nmami Agarwal, Manushi’s nutritionist, is the founder of Nmami Life and has names like cricketer Gautam Gambhir, Miss World Manusha Chhillar and former Australian captain Michael Clarke in her clientele.