Beyond Vitamins: Phytochemicals Are The Overlooked Super Nutrients
Fruits and vegetables are often recommended for their vitamin and mineral content. Did you know that plants contain other substances that positively impact our health? They are called phytochemicals (substances that give plants their vibrant colors) and they support your body with increased health and play a role in disease prevention.
Many people substitue fruits and vegetables with synthetic multivitamin supplements. This is a great error, because plants also contain phytochemicals, which support your immune system, reduce inflammation, support the body's detoxification processes, protect cells from free radical damage, protect your heart and blood vessels, and modulate your hormones. Those listed are only a few of the benefits. There are many more. Below are examples of phytochemical nutrients and how they help us.
Polyphenols: found in berries, tart cherries, and pomegranates, which have a powerful anti-inflammatory action in the body.
Plant Sterols: help us modulate our hormones and lower cholesterol
Beta-Sitosterol: a plant sterol that supports a healthy testosterone profile, fights hair loss, reduces acne, and fights prostate enlargement
Quercetin: found in apples, onions, and potato skins; works to support your immune system and allergic responses.
Carotenoids: antioxidants found in orange and yellow plants like carrots, pumpkins, and sweet potatoes. Supports the health of eyes, skin and lungs.
Lutein and Zeaxanthin: found in green leafy vegetables including kale, spinach, unpeeled cucumber, and kiwi. These are powerful antioxidants that can pass the blood-retina barrier. Supports eye health and may protect against cardiovascular disease and certain cancers.
I am sure that you do not want to miis out on all these health benefits. See to it that you include more plant-based foods in your diet. Don't substitute multivitamins for fuits and veggies. If you have specific health concerns and want to know which phytonutrients should be a focus of your diet or supplement regimen, consult with, Dr. John Phets, in Manhattan, NY. He does a simple food test which lets you know which foods you should include and exclude from your diet.