Use of functional foods a must to overcome health challenges of modern life

ISLAMABAD : Prof. Dr. Anwarul Hassan Gilani, Chairman Pakistan Council for Science and Technology (PCST) stressed the use of functional foods for treating diseases and overcome health challenges posed by modern life.

He was delivering a lecture on “Health Challenges of Modern Life and Treating with Functional Foods and Lifestyle /Dietary Modification” at Pakistan Science Foundation (PSF) on Wednesday under the Foundation’s series of popular science lectures.A large number of scientists and students from different educational institutions attended the lecture.

Elaborating diseases pattern, he said in olden days infectious diseases were major challenge and there was physical struggle for food that kept the people more healthy and fit. He said in modern days there was no physical struggle for food and other amenities due to complete change in lifestyle.

Plenty of food, high calories intake, dependence on impure and processed food as well as sedentary and luxurious lifestyle have posed serious health challenges. Dr. Gilani said modern lifestyle had affected almost every organ of the body due to obesity and overweight. He said obesity and overweight were the main causes of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases particularly in Middle East and South Asia. He said obesity could be cured by pharmaceutical medicines and foods modifications but the pharmaceutical medicines have many side effects. He said that functional foods have unique medicinal qualities without any side effects.

He stressed the need for a balanced diet in addition to the essential elements of natural health including fresh air, pure water, sunshine, functional foods, exercises and sound sleep etc.He said functional foods include the foods that have medicinal values such as ginger, onion, garlic, black pepper, olive, moringa, coriander etc. Speaking on this occasion, PSF Chairman Prof. Dr. Mohammad Ashraf said promotion and popularization of science are the main mandate of PSF. He said popular science lectures were one of the important activities of the Foundation to popularize science.