Evidence of practice of Nutraceuticals/ Functional foods in our daily life described in Ayurveda
Keywords:Functional food, Ayurveda, Ahara, Nutrition, Spices and condiments
Ayurveda Scholars has considered food (Ahara) as an important pillar for development, sustenance of a healthy life and longevity. Considering the importance of food in health and disease.Charak has mentioned that the health or state of disease depends on rationale use of food. Food has been also considered as an etiological factor of several disorder as well as management and prevention of diseases. Ayurveda has given the comprehensive classification of food that are described in respect of their rasa(taste), vīrya(potency), vipāka (taste after digestion) and prabhāva (special actions) under the chapter Annapana Vidhi Adhyaya of Charak Samhita e.g. corn with spike/awn, corn with pods/legumes, pulses, meat, leaf, fruits, greens, leafy vegetables, wine, water, milk, products of sugar cane juice. In the mid of 1980s the term ‘functional food’ was coined in Japan to refer the food substances which have additional special health benefits. Spices and condiments which are commonly used in every kitchen on regular basis during different cooking preparations such as turmeric, ginger, garlic, onion, coriander, cinnamon, cumin, clove, fennel, barley, Indian gooseberry, tulsi, aloe vera etc. has been described in Ayurveda thousands year back with their special health benefits. In India there are number of traditional products used as functional food but needs more scientific validation, it could be a research opportunity in nutrition to explore the relation between certain diseases and these food components.Functional foods provide great potential for prevention of several chronic diseases, when consumed in balanced proportion in food preparations with a healthy lifestyle.
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