Foreword to Autumn 2019 Issue

Nutraceuticals – An Evolving Concept

Over the last 30 years nutraceuticals have gone from a relatively unknown hypothesis, wrapped in legislative restrictions and controversy, to becoming a regular part of the weekly shopping basket of the ever increasingly health conscious consumer.

We have seen energy boosters, immune stimulants, and claims of protection against cardiovascular disease, to natural sweeteners and weight management solutions for ‘globesity’. Research continues in the endless pursuit of improved health and increased longevity of life as age expectancy of today increases beyond the expectations of yesteryear.

A plant-based diet can be enlightening, however heaven is not for vegetarians only

More recently there has been exponential growth in vegan/vegetarians diets. Most people living a plant-based diet experience, will automatically have lower blood pressure due to a higher intake of potassium-rich foods. Also, plants contain NO cholesterol, even saturated sources like coconut and cacao. The number one way to fight high blood sugar is to eat more fibre. It slows down absorption of sugars in the blood stream, controlling your hunger level during the day to a manageable level. It balances cortisol levels that cause stress and reduces cancer risk. You’re going to lose weight, experience less constipation, and sleep better on a plant-based diet, along with less digestive track inflammation and a lower risk of diabetes.

With all these benefits of a plant-based diet, there can still be nutritional imbalance: for example, a lack of protein that forces the body to adapt and compensate for this nutritional imbalance. Carbs, sweets, caffeine, chocolate, pop, candy, pastries, or chips; constant cravings for these non-nutritional foods point to unstable blood sugar. Cravings for meat. Muscle and/or joint pain. Inability to sleep deeply through the night. Without protein, the body tends to crave carbs and sugar in excess. This creates a dependency on sugar for energy. However, sugar and carbs burn quickly, creating highs and lows in energy levels

Ayurveda is a vegetarian system of medicine. Cows are sacred and it is just not ‘cool’ to eat them. However, in the case of protein deficiency, Ayurvedic doctors will prescribe the medicinal eating of red meat. As a medicine, not a way of life. Even the Dalai Lama and many of the monks in Kashmir eat meat.

Research continues and new solutions to new problems emerge. Longevity of life brings a host of associated health challenges that can have a crippling impact on individual sufferers along with the people around them. Cognitive and mental health problems, like all disease, start in the gut.

There is much data and commentary on the growth of the nutraceuticals industry, with larger businesses moving into this area for bottom-line gain. With so many changing factors, integrity must be practiced at all levels, and we now see overriding factors such as sustainability, climate change, and mobility, all of which will have
major impact in the coming years..

Charles Faulkner

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