What is a phytonutrient?
A phytonutrient is a natural compound found in plants, such as vegetables, fruit, whole grain products and legumes. These plant compounds have beneficial effects working with other essential nutrients to promote good health.
“Phyto” means plant
Phytonutrients have been identified as powerful antioxidants!
- A number of phytonutrients have been shown to reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
- Experts believe that eating plenty of phytonutrient-rich foods promotes healthy aging.
- Many phytonutrients have antioxidant properties that help prevent damage to cells throughout the body.
Other positive biological findings:
- Phytonutrients may have other bioactive functions for promoting health.
- Some may have positive effects on the immune system and hormones.
- Phytonutrients may also act as antibacterial or antiviral agents.
Foods rich in phytonutrients:
- Red, orange and yellow vegetables and fruit (such as tomatoes, carrots, peppers, squash, sweet potatoes, peaches, mangos, melons, citrus fruits, and berries)
- Dark green leafy vegetables (such as spinach, kale, bok choy, broccoli, Swiss chard, and romaine lettuce)
- Garlic, onions, chives and leeks
- Whole grain products (such as brown rice, wild rice, quinoa, barley, wheat berries, and whole wheat whole grain breads and whole grain cereals)
- Nuts and seeds (such as walnuts, almonds, sunflower, sesame and flax seeds)
- Legumes (such as dried beans, peas, lentils, soy beans and soy products)
- Tea and coffee (such as green tea, black tea and other herbal teas)
- Dark chocolate
**********Phytonutrients are responsible for the vibrant colors found in vegetables and fruit******