of functional foods
Functional foods are
classified in to
d. Phyto chemicals
Probiotic is a greek
word which means "for life" It was coined by Lilly and Stilwell
in1965. Probiotics are living microorganisms which upon ingestion in sufficient
numbers, exert health benefits beyond basic nutrition. Probiotics are a viable
microbial dietary supplement which uplifts the health of the host.
In 1995, Prebiotics
was defined by Gibson and Roberfroid as non-digested food components that,
through the stimulation of growth and/or activity of a single type or a limited
amount of microorganisms residing in the gastrointestinal tract, improve the
health condition of a host. Prebiotics may be used as an alternative to
probiotics or as an additional support for them. Prebiotics have enormous
potential for modifying the gut
microbiota, but these
modifications occur at the level of individual strains and species and are not
easily predicted a prior.
In 1995, Gibson and
Roberfroid introduced the term “synbiotic” to describe a combination of
synergistically acting probiotics and prebiotics. As the word “synbiotic”
implies synergy, the term should be reserved for those products in which a
prebiotic component selectively favours a probiotic microorganism. Synbiotics
have both probiotic and prebiotic properties and were created in order to
overcome some possible difficulties in the survival of probiotics in the
plant chemicals that differ from nutrients in some important ways. Phyto is a
greek word for plants. Essential nutrient which include protein, fats,
minerals, and vitamins are essential for life. Phytochemicals are not necessary
for life but they help to promote optimal health by lowering risk for chronic
diseases, such as cancer and heart disease. They are found only in plant foods.
Fruits and vegetables are among the best sources of these compounds.
Phytochemicals are believed to have many health benefits and prevent lifestyle
diseases.. Some groups of phytochemicals have been linked to decreased cancer
risk also. Following are examples of some phyto chemicals with nutritional
Flavanoids are a
special class of phytochemicals that includes hundreds of different compounds.
They are excellent
antioxidants and some
have hormonal properties. Among some of the most studied flavonoids are
allicin, which is found in onions and garlic.
Longer life span
Prevents obesity and helps in weight management
Prevents cardio vascular disease, diabetes, cancer.
Prevents neuro generative disease
Slows down ageing process.
Carotenoids are a
group of phytochemicals that act as pigments, giving plants their bright green,
orange, yellow, red, and blue colors.
Beta-carotene, found in carrots, sweet potatoes, green leafy
vegetables, red peppers, and pumpkin. Beta- carotene from foods has been linked
to a reduced risk for lung cancer.
Lycopene, found in tomatoes and strongly linked to reduced risk
for prostate cancer.
Lutein, foundingreenleafyvegetables and linked to reduced risk
for cancer and macular degeneration.
Antioxidants are our
first line of defense against free radical damage, and are critical for
maintaining optimum health and wellbeing. Antioxidants are carotenoids,
lycopene, vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin E etc..
Slower signs of aging, including of the skin, eyes, tissue,
joints, heart and brain
Healthier, more youthful, glowing skin
Reduced cancer risk
Longer life span
Protection against heart disease and stroke
Less risk for cognitive problems, such as dementia
Reduced risk for vision loss or disorders like macular
degeneration and cataracts
Antioxidants are also added to food or household products to
prevent oxidation and spoilage