Bioactive Molecules, Nutraceuticals, and Functional Foods in Indian Vegetarian Diet and During Postpartum Healthcare

  • Jaya Arora
  • K. G. Ramawat
Living reference work entry
Part of the Reference Series in Phytochemistry book series (RSP)


Traditionally the majority population of the Indian subcontinent is vegetarian since ancient times due to social and religious guiding principle of the society. Consumption of whole grains of cereals and pulses, fruits, vegetables, and milk products is associated with vegetarian diet. Essentially all meals consist of flatbread, cooked pulses, a vegetable, curd/butter milk, and/or rice. Pulses are consumed in very large quantity, and several salted snacks and sweet preparations are available in the market. Beneficial effects of such products are now being revealed and scientifically validated by modern tools and techniques. In this review, we presented a concise and comprehensive scenario about vegetarian diet in Indian region enforced by caste system associated with religion. This leads to progression of hale and hearty brain and intellectual community of Brahmins consuming only vegetarian diet rich in fruits. Brahmin is a varna (class, caste) in Hinduism specializing as priests, teachers (acharya), and protectors of sacred learning across generations. Marriages within the caste further helped in gradual evolution of Brahmins (a kind of hybridization between superiors). Vegetarian diet is maintained from birth to until death. There is a well-defined and programmed vegetarian herbal diet starting from postpartum care, and beneficial effects of such diet are discussed in light of scientific information available. Effect of bioactive molecules present in these foods and safety aspect are also discussed.


Vegetarian diet Postpartum Functional foods Bioactive molecules Caste system Hindu Brahmin diet 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jaya Arora
    • 1
  • K. G. Ramawat
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BotanyUniversity College of Science, M. L. Sukhadia UniversityUdaipurIndia

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