The word neutraceuticals originates
from the word `nutrition' and `pharmaceuticals' . It implies the usage of food
as protective drugs or as food supplements.
Food stuffs contain disease
preventing phytonutrients. These include terpenes, phytosterols, phenols and
Terpenes are found in green foods, soya products and grains.
Carotenoids and limonoids are the subclass of terpenes. Carrot, tomato, parsley
and spinach are rich sources of carotenoids. They are a precursor of vitamin A
and also prevent eye diseases.
Limonoids is present mainly in
citrus peels and it is an anti-oxidant. It helps in protecting the lung tissue.
Yellow vegetables, yam and the seeds
of pumpkin are a rich source of phytosterols. They help in the excretion of
cholesterol and prevent tumors in the prostrate gland and breast.
They play an important role in preventive medicine. They
prevent the damage of tissues and inflammation. Berries, grapes and brinjals
are good sources of phenols. Flavonids, anthocyanidines and isoflavones are
important sub classes of phenols.
Flavonoids enhance the effectiveness
of vitamin C, prevent allergies, tumors, platelet aggregation and reduce chance
of oestrogen induced cancers.
help in the synthesis of protein collagen while isoflavones present in bean,
legumes and soyabeans prevent tumors, breast and prostrate cancer.
They are the sulphur containing class of phytonutrients.
Garlic, onion, cabbage and turnip contain theols. Garlic and onion contain
allyl sulphides which are anti-carcinogenic agents.
They protect against tumors and prevent cardio-vascular
disorders. Cabbage and turnip are known to reduce tumors.