Nutraceuticals are food product that provides health as well as medical benefits; including the prevention and treatment of disease. Few nutraceuticals are being used as pharmaceutical and a number of other being used and purchased by the general public as self-medication. Such products may range from dietary supplements to genetically engineered foods, herbal products and processed foods.
Phytochemicals of nutraceuticals importance are bioactive constituentsthat sustain or promote health and occurs at the intersection of food andpharmaceutical industries. Such substances may range from isolatednutrients, dietary supplements and specific diets to geneticallyengineered designer foods, herbal products, processed foods andbeverages. Phytochemicals are broadly described as polyphenols,flavonoids, isoflavonoids, anthocyanidins, terpenoids etc,. Theyhave tremendous impact on the health care system and mayprovidemedical health benefits including the prevention and/ or treatment ofdiseases and physiological disorders. Majority of foods, such as wholegrains, beans, fruits, vegetables and herbs contain phytochemicals.Amongst these, fruits and vegetables contribute to the significantsources of phytochemicals. These phytochemicals, either alone and/orin combination, have tremendous therapeutic potential in curing variousailments. The respective health benefits are based on science andethics, for health claims, for functional foods, and presence of certainphytochemicals. They play certain pharmacological effects in humanhealth as antioxidants, antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antiallergic,antispasmodic, chemopreventive, hepatoprotective,hypolipidemic, neuroprotective, hypotensive, prevent aging, diabetes,osteoporosis, DNA damage, cancer and heart diseases, induceapoptosis, diuretic, CNS stimulant, analgesic, protects from UV inducedcarcinogenesis, prevent, immuno-modulator and carminative.