If you’re an avid member of the health community, or have recently researched about factors that can improve your health, you may have heard about the latest chemical craze: phytonutrients.
If you’re unfamiliar with phytonutrients, they are natural chemicals that are found within plant-based foods, and act as a barrier from threats, such as fungi, and germs.
Continue below to learn more about phytonutrients, and their overall health benefits.
Health benefits of phytonutrients
Did you know: Each phytonutrient has different health benefits?
With over 25,000 phytonutrients in plant-based foods, it can be hard to narrow it down to the most beneficial phytonutrients. But, here is a list of the most common phytonutrients and their health benefits:
- Carotenoids are found within yellow, orange, and red colored plant-based foods, such as paprika, red peppers, and tomatoes. Carotenoids have been linked to protecting critical organs and body parts, such as the eyes, as well as lowering the risk of developing various diseases.
- Flavonoids are the most common phytonutrients found within the average diet. They are shown to reduce blood pressure and the risk of developing a cardiovascular disease.
- Indole-3-carbinol is found within highly cruciferous vegetables and acts as a defense mechanism against various types of cancer.
- Resveratrol is the phytonutrient that gives red wine its reputation of being a substance to drink to promote great health. Like many other phytonutrients, resveratrol lowers the risk of developing serious health conditions. But, what makes resveratrol different than other phytonutrients is its heart-protective effects.
Many phytonutrients have antioxidant properties that promote an overall healthy body.
Some of the most common antioxidant properties are found within carotenoids, and anthocyanins.
The antioxidant properties found within carotenoids are shown to reduce oxidative damage.
Oxidative damage is linked to speeding up the process of aging.
As for anthocyanins, their antioxidant properties are shown to promote eyesight health and protect the liver.
Relationship to vitamins
It’s widely known that the human body can do some amazing things. It can even convert and create crucial vitamins.
Yes, you read that right. In order for your body to create vitamins, simply consume some phytonutrients.
A common phytonutrient that can converted into a vitamin is beta-carotene.
Beta-carotene is found within sweet potatoes and carrots, and can be converted into vitamin A.
Vitamin A is one of the most important vitamins for our bodies, as it promotes good vision and reproduction, as well as supporting the overall immune system.
Best foods that are a good source of phytonutrients
Since there is a wide variety of phytonutrients, it’s difficult to find a plant-based food that doesn’t have a significant level of health benefiting phytonutrients.
But, if you’re looking to maximize the number of phytonutrients you consume, eat the following foods:
- Whole Grains
If you’re looking to receive specific health benefits, research the best phytonutrients for you. Then, you can focus on consuming foods that are comprised of the specific phytonutrients you are looking for.
If all else fails in your search for finding the best foods with phytonutrients, you can swap out your snacks with healthy snacks such as our Nutra Cookies, and Vi Bites. Our flavor mix-ins for the shakes are also very high in beneficial phytonutrients.