Most of us know that fruits and veggies are essential for everyday health and nutrition because of the vitamins, minerals, fiber, and other nutrients in them. But, phytonutrients, AKA phytochemicals – part of the natural compounds of plants – are gaining more credibility for their disease fighting qualities.
Even though phytonutrients have always been a part of the chemical composition of plants, studying them is a newer engagement for scientists. Only in recent years, researchers have been revealing the importance of phytonutrients, and they will continue to unmask the benefits of including more of them in our diet. So far, they’ve found these plant nutrients to strengthen your immune system, prevent cancer, heart disease, diabetes, promote anti-aging and repair DNA.
Many plants produce fruit and vegetables, but other foods like tea, legumes and nuts or seeds and even red wine are also plant based and contain healthy phytonutrients as well.
And when it comes to your everyday diet – remember to eat:
- Foods that are close to nature, that will rot and mold. According to the education series, Food For Life, by Metabolic Management – 80% of our food has chemicals that increase the shelf life and basically take the life out of it. As a fun experiment, they left a fast food hamburger sit out for a year. It didn’t mold or rot, it simply got hard and even the bugs wouldn’t touch it. They also point out that it takes 212 days or seven months for your body to get rid of the hydrogenated oils used to make french fries. The accumulation of these bad oils lead to inflammation in the body which promotes disease, pain and sickness.
- Foods that were available hundreds of years ago. Eat like your ancestors would eat and be a label inspector. Here’s a health & nutrition pyramid that you can use to help you in your venture to eating well. Your body will thank you in so many ways. Stay away from refined sugar and carbs. If it’s processed – don’t eat it. Processed foods deplete nutrients in your body and promote sickness and disease.
- Eat lots of color! Eat foods that have life, color and texture. The richer the color – the better. Eat the skins, eat the seeds, eat a good variety. Mix it up and take your taste buds places they have never gone.
Check out the infographic below. It shows you some great examples of food by color, the phytonutrients in them and some of the benefits associated with each color group.
What are your thoughts or questions? We love to hear from you so leave us a comment below!
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