You may or may not have heard of phytonutrients, now the next question, what the heck ar those???
Phytonutrients are nutrients found in plants that protect them against harmful excess ultraviolet radiation, predator pests, toxins and pollution, resulting in the generation of dangerous free radicals within their cells. Free radicals can damage proteins, cell membranes and the DNA of the plant. Free radicals are BAD!
Phytonutrients, as mentioned before protect them by sheilding them from damage while giving plants the colour, taste and smell. Nature does such amazing things!!! So what does that mean for us? Well no it might not make you taste or smell better or maybe it can! Ok, focus....so what does that actually mean for us, that means protecting us from radiation and environmental elements just like plants.
How do we get phytonutrients....EAT YOUR VEGGIES AND FRUIT!!!! And make sure you eat from the colours of the rainbow. Different colours of veggies and fruits offer different nutrients and benefits, so having a colourful diet can offer the most added benefits. Like Greens helps your heart, lungs and eyes. Orange helps your teeth, bones and heals wounds faster. Yellow helps digestion and Red helps blood among many other benefits!
5 Benefits of Phytonutrients
1. Helps reduce blood pressure and offers a nutritional approach to preventing and treating hypertension.
2. Improve vision - The health benefits of blueberries, strawberries and red wine include providing the phytochemical anthocyanins. These anthocyanins can help improve vision. The National Center for Biotechnology Information reports that visual acuity can be markedly improved through certain pigments and their enhancement of night vision or overall vision has been particularly well documented. Black currants, for example, have resulted in significantly improved night vision adaptation in human subjects and similar benefits were gained after consuming bilberries.
3. Decrease Inflammation - this can help decrease disease-causing inflammation and are found in red wine...yes I said red wine...of course in moderation. Also grape juice extracts, cranberries and cocoa. Better known as resveratrol, studies have shown that these foods may help fight cancer, diabetes, protect against Alzheimer’s and provide endurance enhancement. Plant-based compounds may help to lower inflammation and reduce the risk of developing cancer. Cruciferous vegetables are also rich in fiber and low in calories, a combination that will help you feel full and satisfied without overeating.
4. Decrease LDL Cholesterol - This is the bad cholesterol...and this isn't the bad boy lovin kind of bad. This shit clogs your atreries, so let's keep those arteries clean which can be done by eating aromatic plants such as nutrition-rich onions, leeks, garlic, herbs as well as olives.
5. Prevent cell damage - So we spoke about free radicals and how they can damage cells, well that is why we want to prevent that from happening. We want to kick their ass before they damage ours. How do we do that? hrough a variety of foods like nutrition-loaded tomatoes, carrots, sweet potatoes and other brightly colored fruits and vegetables by helping prevent cell damage. As well with antioxidants found in green and white tea.
In conclusion, on average, plant foods have about 64 times more antioxidants than animal foods. We need these antioxidants to help fight free radicals that damage the cells in our bodies, and it’s why we need to eat several servings per day. So EAT YOUR VEGGIES. Also make sure to get a good balance of cooked and raw, slightly steammed or sauted is best rather than boiling them. Keeping them is a slightly crunchy stage keeps more of the antioxidants. Now go have some fun creating your veggie dishes!