Seeing and smelling Berries in the grocery stores and fruit centers reminds us, that Summer is close!
Berries are amazing sources of vitamins, minerals, but also phytonutrients!
There is currently a lot of interest in the research of phytonutrients, which is getting more exciting every day. You all will be able to read the new information on the health benefits of plant chemicals in all media.
What are Phytonutrients?
There are thousands of natural chemicals plant foods contain. These are known as phytonutrients or phytochemicals. "Phyto" is a Greek word for plant. These chemicals aid in protecting plants from germs, fungi, bugs, and other threats. Fruits and vegetables both contain phytonutrients. There are other plant-based foods that contain phytonutrients as well, such as whole grains, nuts, beans, and tea.
Phytonutrients aren't necessary to keep you alive, unlike the vitamins and minerals that plant foods contain. However, when you eat or drink phytonutrients, they may help ward off diseases and keep your body functioning properly, and they seem to act as antioxidants.
Researchers estimate that there are 40,000 to 100,000 of phytonutrients found in plant foods, 1,000 of which have been isolated, and a mere 100 analyzed and tested. It seems that nobody has the exact numbers, and these figures are more likely to change on a daily basis, since there is so much focus and research interest on phytonutrients.
As plants may contain 100,000 phytonutrients, this is one of the reasons nine servings of fruits and vegetables a day are recommended. Variety in a diet appears to boost the effectiveness of phytonutrients due to nutrient synergy and also because different plants and vegetables have different phytonutrients. Phytonutrients, when eaten, literally bathe our system.
On average, plant foods have 64 times more antioxidants than animal foods, and when it comes to antioxidants, the more we eat, the more we may benefit.
If you have any questions, please see me at Norwell Athletic Club (NAC).
Yours in Health,
Silke Heine, Owner of Simplify Holistic Nutrition
This post is originally a part of the Norwell Athletic Club (NAC) June 2014 Newsletter.