As you've heard time and time again, what you put in your body will make the biggest difference in how you feel, how you look, and your long-term health. So, what exactly are phytonutrients and why are they so important to achieve a healthier life? We talked to our friend Andrea, a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, and here are the wonderful details we discovered.
What are phytonutrients?
Phytonutrients are natural chemicals contained in plant foods, which helps protect them from threats like germs, fungi, and bugs. Other foods that contain phytonutrients include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, beans, and green tea.
There are hundreds of different types of phytonutrients, but Andrea described five of the most important ones, including:
Carotenoids: Found in orange and yellow fruits, carotenoids are very protective of the heart, skin, and eyes, as well as environmental toxins. A high source of turmeric, the "it" antioxidant right now with a powerful medicinal property. A high-powered anti-inflammatory that improves brain function, you can get turmeric root and grate it into your foods, or add it to your smoothie. Trick: black pepper improves absorption of turmeric. Shop turmeric here.
Flavanoids: Found in red wine, cranberries, and green tea, flavonoids reduce the risk of a number of different diseases such as heart disease and cancer, and also protects the respiratory system.
Indole 3 Carbinol: A powerful compound found in cruciferous vegetables like kale, broccoli, cabbage, and brussels sprouts, this phytonutrient is very protective of breast cancer and colon cancer. Shop Amazing Grass Raw Reserve here.
Lignans: This phytonutrient is found in asparagus and flax seeds, and can prevent cardiovascular disease, and provide high contents of fiber, which can remove high-cholesterol from the body. Shop flax seeds here.
How to Introduce Phytonutrients into your Diet
Carotenoids: Make chili with turmeric and add black pepper to increase absorption
Flavanoids: Have a cup of matcha or green tea once per day. Tip: green tea boosts your metabolism and allows your body to absorb and use fats more efficiently. Shop our tea selection here.
Indole 3 Carbinol: Aim to have one green salad per day
Lignans: Grind flax seeds fresh at home and then add a tablespoon to fresh oatmeal
Antioxidant benefits of phytonutrients
Free radicals are unstable molecules in your body that create instability. These come from environmental toxins, pollutants, and chemically-altered foods. Antioxidants stabilize free radicals donating molecules for them to become stable again; antioxidants are found in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
We look forward to learning more from Andrea to share with you, but for now, opt to incorporate these tips to introduce more phytonutrients to your diet on a regular. You will surely feel and see the difference!