A wholesome meal with the right combination of dietary fibre, fruits and green vegetables is mandatory for good health. However, with the current lifestyle patterns it is not always possible for a common person to get adequate amounts of vitamins and nutrients. This deficiency increases the chances of developing various health-related problems, which may take the shape of chronic diseases, sooner or later.
To address this, healthcare experts have come up with in-depth research and multiple discoveries to bridge the gap between nutrition and medicine – thanks to cutting-edge technologies and innovation. One such outcome of these findings is nutraceuticals that are suitable solutions for modern-era deficiencies and subsequent health issues.
Recent years have witnessed an increasing demand for nutraceuticals among the health-conscious population. The global nutraceutical market valued at a whopping $413.0 billion in 2020 is anticipated to reach $650.5 billion by 2030.
What are Nutraceuticals?
Nutraceuticals are specially formulated to deal with the shortcomings of a particular vitamin or nutrition in the human body and provide extensive health benefits. They are derived from food items that have nutritional and medicinal value in addition to the nutrition found in them. Nutraceuticals include functional and superfoods like vitamin-enriched products, dietary supplements, medically formulated food and drinks and probiotics.
These products are used to improve health, counter deficiency, delay ageing, support body structure and function, prevent chronic diseases and expand life span. In the modern era, where a section of the population is battling lifestyle diseases, nutraceuticals can come to their rescue. They are affordable and can help in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Types of nutraceuticals
Nutraceuticals are segregated into two parts based on their functions and food source: functional food and dietary supplements.
The nutraceutical products in this category are food ingredients that offer basic nutrition coupled with health benefits. Functional foods are those that look like food and are available in the form of yoghurt, snacks, whole grains, cereals and more.
Nutraceuticals that fall under dietary supplements promote good health and present diseases. These supplements are available in the form of tablets, capsules, powder, gummies, energy bars and more.
A game changer in preventive healthcare
Ageing comes with lifestyle-related diseases whose effects can be reduced by opting for healthier choices early in life. This implicates a sharp focus on adopting measures, such as nutritious diets and consumption of nutraceuticals, to lead a healthy life and prevent getting ill. Besides, increasing awareness among people to lead a healthy life has invigorated the demand for nutraceuticals and is driving wellness. The health-conscious population today considers nutraceuticals essential to lead a healthy life.
While developed countries like the USA, Japan, and Europe account for more than 90% of the total global nutraceutical market, the leading players in the sectors are shifting their focus towards developing economies, including India, where preventive healthcare is vital in order to enhance the country’s existing health infrastructure.
The nutraceuticals sector is anticipated to expand, with food and pharmaceutical companies building synergies to drive immense change in preventive healthcare. With the growing war against lifestyle and chronic disease, the nutraceuticals sector will remain at the forefront of combating some of the major ailments in future and paving the way for a safer and healthier life.
(The author is Mr. Abhilash Reddy D, the managing director and co-founder at Nutrilitius and the views expressed in this article are his own)