December 30 2017
You’ve likely heard the word “phytonutrient” in the past, but there’s a good chance you don’t know what they are or why they are a vitally important component of good health and a good life. Once you learn what they are you may never look at food the same way again! Read on to find out just how powerful they are and help transform your health for the new year!
What Are Phytonutrients?
The first thing you may be wondering is what exactly are phytonutrients and why should you care about them?
Well, to explain simply, they are generally thought of as natural chemicals that food from plants are composed of. Generally these are found in foods that are fruits, vegetable, whole grains, nuts or legumes. In fact, the word “phyto” means “plant” in Greek.
These special nutrients help protect plant life from threats such as bugs, fungus and germs and consequently are also considered to be beneficial to protecting our own health; as well as prolonging our life when consumed.
There are over 25,000 types of phytonutrients, each with different properties and health benefits. Without getting too technical, they are for certain something you’ll want to ensure you eat enough of!
A good rule of thumb is to look for and consume fruits and vegetables with lots of color. Foods with color are full of positive benefits that your body can use to improve and maintain good health. Each time you eat, try to be conscious of the color of the foods you put in your mouth. If most of what you eat has little or neutral colors, then there’s a good chance they are lower quality foods that lack phytonutrients.
So maybe our mothers’ were right when they kept telling us to eat our fruits and vegetables!
Some of the more well-known phytonutrients include:
- Carotenoids are one category of phytonutrients that have many known benefits. Typically they provide the red, yellow and orange colors found in fruits and vegetables. They are known to provide an abundance of antioxidants that protect the cells in our body from damage.
- Flavonoids another type of phytonutrient category contain numerous health benefits including reducing the risk of asthma, reducing/preventing some types of cancer, reducing inflammation, preventing chronic diseases, and reducing risks of heart disease.
- Lycopene is a phytonutrient found in red and pink colored fruits and vegetables such as tomatoes, pink grapefruit and watermelon has particularly been linked to lower cases of prostate cancer.
- Resveratrol is another phytonutrient commonly found in grapes and products of grapes, such as red wine and grape juice. It is known to potentially help reduce incidents of heart disease and some types of cancer. Animal studies also show that it may aid in prolonging life.
There are so many it’s impossible to list them all, but these alone should demonstrate they should not be overlooked!
Phytonutrients provide so many advantages to your body that it’s impossible to list them all. Here are just a few benefits:
- Antioxidants are known to protect us from common health issues including Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, eye health, heart disease, Parkinson’s disease, along with many other conditions. In fact, many health experts believe that the aging process can be slowed by ensuring that one’s diet contains plenty of antioxidants!
- Immune system health is thought to benefit greatly when eating foods containing phytonutrients.
- Antibacterial/Antiviral properties are known to be present in foods high in phytonutrients.
- Hormones within the body are thought to be positively affected as well.
Important To Note
One thing to remember when it comes to phytonutrients is that you can’t cheat your way to including them in your diet. By this it means, that no supplement, pill or other trick will provide your body with phytonutrients! The only way to properly incorporate them in your life is to consumer healthy foods made of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts and legumes.
When you shop AND eat, look for colorful ingredients, namely fruits and vegetables; which are in turn rich in phytonutrients.
The miraculous benefits they provide is nothing short of life changing if you learn to look out for them and use them daily at each meal.
We created MealEasy® with this in mind. To help anyone eat more health enriching foods, containing more phytonutrients and life changing health benefits.
For any easy way to start including more of these types of meals in your diet, consider joining MealEasy today. We built it for you and your health… Your body will thank you for it with better health, more energy and a positive outlook.