Combination of traditional heritage and scientific enquiry is the key towards integrative Nutrition


Health and wellness experts urged to amalgamate traditional heritage and scientific enquiry as the key for future nutrition techniques. They were participating in a symposium organized by NuFFooDS Spectrum Knowledge Forum and Ruia Biochemical Canvas concluded at Ruia College auditorium, Matunga, on Tuesday. Titled as “Integrative Nutrition for the Nation’s Health”, the symposium saw participation of nutritionists, academicians, industry leaders and health experts.

Dr. Sanjay Oak, vice-chancellor, D Y Patil University, Navi Mumbai and Dr Shobha Udipi, Professor & Head Department of Food Science and Nutrition, SNDT University, chaired the two sessions. The speakers included Dr. Ashok Vaidya, Research Director at Medical Research Centre, Kasturba Health Society, Dr. Gururaj Muthalik, former WHO director, Dr. Bhushan Patwardhan, director of Interdisciplinary School of Health Sciences, Savitribai Phule Pune University, Sanjaya Mariwala, Managing Director, OmniActive Health Technologies, Dr Jagmeet Madan, National Vice-President, Indian Dietetics Association and Dr Naaznin Husein, President, Indian Dietetic Association, Mumbai Chapter.

Dr. Sanjay Oak, said, “We hope that such discussion could lead to evolution in Indian food culture and start a new movement in the society. We are what we eat. Indian culture asks to show respect and reverence to the food we eat and consume, which nurtures us. We need not to imitate any western country in Europe or America and their style of food culture. We should be aware of the food we traditional have and the importance of food safety. Integrative form of nutrition will be opening new arenas and encourage innovation in the industry.”

Dr. Ashok Vaidya, said “India is a world leader in food and nutrition, but there is a need for multi-disciplinary approach in multiple domains of nutrition for integration. A paradigm shift from what we do and what we believe today is necessary for the development of this sector towards integration. Particularly in the case of aging, nutritional integration poses a great significance.

Further he detailed, “We need to combine our traditional wisdom with today’s pride of scientific developments. The task to deal with nutrition for aged is not going to be easy, as it involves multi-dimensional activities. Ageing is a variable activity which is different for each and other person. Traditional practices such as Ayurveda along with the modern medicinal approaches can be used to integrate nutrition for a healthy aging.”

Sanjaya Mariwala, said “Global nutrition industry is worth $374 billion today with a very less participation from Indian sub-continent. Much of the industry is dominated by US, European and Japanese market. The growth rate comes to 8-10% in the current market. Supplements, Medical foods and traditional foods are dominating this industry. As called the packaged supplement industry have an untapped potential and holds immense opportunities in Indian market.

“Market trends in the industry include life expectancy, mental sharpness, eye, heart health & immunity power. Different age groups have different needs of nutrition and health demands. Readiness to spend more for better health is further shaping the market in India. Limited involvement of doctors in the nutrition industry is a difficulty faced by market today”, he added.

Dr Bhushan Patwardhan, said “Nobody knows about the nutrition better than Indians. We need a rapid movement from imitation to innovation in food culture, which can revolutionize the integrated approach of nutrition. The four pillars of health are nutrition, lifestyle, environment and genetics. All the four aspects are very crucial for any approach towards health. Researchers in the field should not believe anything blindly, but take everything to test for better application. Combination of western technology with eastern tradition could deliver amazing results in the integrative approach of nutrition.”

Dr Gururaj Mutalik said “we have a very sick world. 95% of human population is living with at least one disease, shows responsibility of nutritionist and researchers in this field. We have understood the limitations of Ayurveda and other traditional medicinal approaches. We have a huge food and nutrition industry in one hand and on other we have heavy amount of malnutrition. Definitively, a committed approach from food industry could end the malnutrition and drive world towards a better nutrition discipline.”

Dr Shobha Udipi, said, “Nutrition is a very young science, but have a long history of evolution from the traditional methods of healthcare to modern technological developments. When we are approaching the integrative form of medicinal and nutritional treatments, which not only include the food we eat, but also the life style, physical and psychological influences and environment in which we live in. So it is very crucial to understand the trends and concerns of people of different age and geographical dimensions. But a holistic approach by respecting the traditional methods of nutrition could deliver better results for any society. So is the Indian food and tradition we have.”

Dr Jagmeet Madan, said “Nutrition embracing the integrative approach is the new and future of adolescents health care. Two years down the line nutrition counselling approach will be global with the help of modern networking technology. Nutritionists, industrialists and researchers are wanted to come together for this future. A holistic approach towards the health and nutrition with Ayurveda, which is the mother of nutrition, will have tremendous impact in our society. An integrative medicine should be healing oriented, holistic, lifestyle based and therapeutic in nature.”

Dr Naaznin Husein, said “In yoga and traditional methods of health we can find the basics and rules of nutrition in elaborate way. Yogic way of eating food and their lifestyle can have crucial impact on the integrative approaches nutrition. Age based priorities and concerns, physical, psychological and social variations and dietary patterns can have impact on the health.

While elaborating it she added, “Yogic activities can have positive impact not only on physical body, but also on the mental health, which is an important part of our nutrition. When you eat something it is good to feel the food and observe the process for better digestion, as mindful eating is the crucial part of health.”

NuFFooDS Spectrum Knowledge Forum is the forum set by NuFFooDS Spectrum magazine, a B2B platform catering to the Nutraceutical, Nutritional, Functional Foods and Dietary Supplements sector. It is Asia’s first media dedicated to the critical sector.

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