Trying to weather the storm of nutrition advise? Seek out a rainbow of colorful,and you’ll find a big pot of phytonutrient gold
FULL- SPECTRUM EATING
Many of us dutifully eat our veggies, yet few of us fully understand why they’re so good for us. A lot of it comes down to phytonutrients, the powerful, plant-based chemicals found in veggies as well as fruits, legumes, whole grains, nuts, herbs, and spices.
Unlike macronutrients (such as proteins, carbohydrates, and fats) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) phytonutrients are not considered critical to our short term survival. But, experts say, they are absolutely essential to warding off chronic diseases, including cancer,type 2 diabetes ,and brain disorders . Most of us are familiar with the beta-carotene found in carrots or the rich store of lycopene in tomato. We may even use resveratrol as an excuse to pour ourselves a glass of red wine. But what about the other 25,000 phytonutrients? Yes, there are that many.
The good news is, you don’t need to take a zillion supplements to get them all. Since many phytonutrients are responsible for the hues of the plants they’re found in, simply eating a wide spectrum of colorful, plant- based foods will ensure that you’re getting the diversity you need.
What Phytonutrients Do?
- They are protective antioxidants
- They can trigger positive gene expression (switching good genes “on” and bad “off” )
- They support specific body structures and function (lutein, for example, which is found in green veggies such as kale, spinach, and parsley, collects in the back of the eye and enhances visual health)
- Appear to have a protective, immune supporting and anti inflammatory effect throughout the body.
Recent studies show that people who developed stomach, lung, breast and urine cancer had lower phytosterol levels than those who without cancer. (Phytosterol are type of phytonutrients common in foods such as flaxseeds, almonds,pistachios, and brocolis) Other research show that high ingestion of phytosterols appear to reduce the grow of breast and prostate cancer in animal
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