Phytonutrients are naturally-found chemicals in plants which help protect them from germs, fungi, bugs, and the sun. When we consume fruits and vegetables those same phytonutrients protect us. Mother Nature working for us!
Phytonutrients are considered “non-essential nutrients” which simply means they are not necessary for our survival like vitamins and minerals. However, they are vital for us to experience optimal health and keeping all of our moving parts working at their highest level.
The good news is you can get phytonutrients easily by eating:
- Fruits and Vegetables
- Whole Grains
Take a closer look at specific phytonutrients and you will understand where the saying “eat the rainbow” comes from. There are thousands of phytonutrients, a few of are detailed below:
Identified by yellow, orange and red colors in fruits and vegetables act as antioxidants in our bodies which prevent disease and boost our immune systems. There are over 600 different Catenoids. A few of the stars include Lycopene, beta- carotene, alpha-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin which have been associated with the prevention of neurological disorders, stroke prevention, and eye health.
- Sweet red peppers
- Pink grapefruit
Identified by red, purples, and blues found in a number of berries and other plants. These phytonutrients may help protect against cancers, and slow the growth of existing cancer cells.
Found abundantly in dark chocolate (70% or higher cocoa), green tea, citrus fruit, and coffee. They are the most abundant antioxidants and are known to fight against heart disease, asthma, and cancer.
Found in grapes, purple grape juice, and red wine acts as an antioxidant and has anti-inflammatory properties.
Found in cruciferous vegetables giving these vegetables their sharp odor and flavor. Known for the prevention of cancer.
- Brussels sprouts