Functional food: eastern and western points of views

functional food


Western view of functional food are the neutraceuticals including Vitamins and Minerals, some seeds and some plants such as cruciferous and garlic. These are mostly modern science based, with some health living traditions such as fasting involved.


Eastern view of food is closely linked to the traditional Chinese medicine that considers food therapy as part of the medical treatment. Over generations after generations, tips and tricks regarding the common effects of regular food becomes routine common sense knowledge for ordinary people to guide themselves think about what dinner to eat. These everyday knowledge includes diagnosing excess or deficiency of certain organs, based on which comes to the point of choosing what to eat.

Guide from doctors

From the food therapy perspective, Chinese people need little or not at all tips from Chinese medicine doctors. When it comes to the western knowledge system, neutraceuticals slowly become part of the suggestion from their medical doctors. The primary care providers (PCP) like to be equipped with such knowledge that is close to their knowledge base to provide a better service to the patients.

Then this is the hard situation for the alternative care providers. If PCPs do that, the patients don’t need to bother seek alternative help anymore. And then comes to the dilemma, some naturopath looks down on homeopath and thinks those are the real quacks because naturopaths can talk about nutrition and netraceuticals. But if family doctors take over that part, what is left for naturopath.

This is the human nature everywhere, people always try to separate from others trying to show the advantage over others. That is okay, I guess, because I do that too, such as my titles under my practice.