The Health Benefits of Food Neutraceuticals

Learn about the health benefits of food neutraceuticals, food or food products that are believed to provide medical or health benefits and help in the prevention and treatment of disease.

| December 2000/January 2001

They may be the biggest thing to hit our dinner tables since broccoli, but what are the health benefits of food neutraceuticals? And where can we find them without paying for the privilege? 

American Ginseng has been used by Native Americans for centuries as a general tonic. Nowadays, it is valued for increasing stamina and memory, and is also used to reduce stress, fatigue, insomnia, poor appetite and anxiety.

Grape seed extract is a derivative of pine bark, and contains some of nature's most potent antioxidants: bioflavonoids. Bioflavonoid antioxidants are 50 times stronger than those in vitamins C and E, beta carotene or selenium. Grape seed extract promotes tissue elasticity, reduces swelling, improves circulation and hastens the healing process.

Green tea extract is known to contain a high content of polyphenols, a class of bioflavonoids. It has been shown to lower blood pressure, block the attachment of bacteria to the teeth, and protect against respiratory and digestive infections. (See "True Brew")

Pennyroyal is a member of the mint family. Pennyroyal oil can also be fatal if taken internally, can cause damage if put on the skin and you should not drink pennyroyal tea. It is often used in pet collars as a tick repellent.

Turmeric showcases the health benefits of food neutraceuticals, its beneficial properties exceed its rich golden hue. A spice long found in traditional Indian cuisine, turmeric has been used to treat arthritis, high cholesterol and obesity. It also possesses antifungal and antibacterial properties.

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