Functional food approach to herbs and spices could start with how they are used in the diet. There is no single definition of functional foods, but the term is used in a variety of ways, such as scientific research, technical innovation, food marketing, and food standards regulation. Functional foods are described as "foods that provide benefits beyond basic nutrition" from a scientific standpoint. This description is based on the concepts of food (i.e., a recognisable unit of intake in contrast to drugs), benefits (which necessitates empirical evidence), and “basic nutrition” (a concept open to interpretation). Simple nutrition can, in some ways, reflect the current state of nutrition awareness and practise. Meeting vitamin and mineral requirements (which have prescribed reference values) may thus be called basic nutrition. The underlying assumption is that these nutrients are needed for normal bodily function to continue. However, today's research on food components is expanding beyond principles like preventing clinical deficiency and preserving homeostasis to provide an increasing understanding of how food components actively communicate with the body to promote health and avoid abnormality and overt disease.