What Are Phytonutrients or Phytochemicals and Do We Need Them?
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What Are Phytonutrients or Phytochemicals and Do We Need Them?

Phytonutrients are the chemical compounds found in plants or fruits, vegetable, grains and grasses

Phytonutrients or phytochemicals seems to be a newer terminology used in the nutritional world, but is it really new? The compounds in this terminology are not new, but the research surrounding them is more recent and being talked about more. The nutrition community does not like using the term phytochemicals because it suggests a product with "chemicals" which is normally associated with something artificial, harmful or bad for the body. So the term "phytonutrients" is used so it can be associated with a nutrient or something good for the body--which it is.

Phytonutrients are chemical compounds found in plants or fruits, vegetables, grains and grasses; these compounds have a beneficial effect on the body. There are thousands of different chemicals found in the hundreds of different types of plants across the globe that have benefits such as: antioxidants, immune boosting, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial and cellular repairing benefits. The highly colored fruits and vegetables are known to have the highest concentration of these beneficial chemicals. These phytonutrients are divided into classes such as: Terpenes, Carotenoids, Limonoids, Phytosterols, Phenols, Flavonoids, Anthocyanidins, Isoflavones, Thiols, Glucosinolates, Allvlic Sulfides, Indoles, Isoprenoids, Tocotrinols, Lipoic Acid and Gallic Acids. If you read anything about the thousands of nutriceutical products on the market, you will inevitably see one of these classes of phytonutrients listed, each having different benefits. That is why it is important to have a well rounded diet of all fruits, vegetables and grains.

Doctors and researchers for years have been telling us about the importance of eating our fruits and vegetables. Researchers continue to link the importance of a healthy diet to the prevention of many diseases. An example of this comes from a centenarian tribe found in the remote villages in the Andes Mountains. Researchers that study these people have found that they live long lives and are free from illnesses such as cancer, heart disease and arthritis. The diet of these tribes is mostly made up of fruits and vegetables. They also may not be exposed to all the pollutants that the modern world may be; and these pollutants are what causes oxidation in our bodies. Increasing phytonutrients in our bodies helps fight off this oxidation and disease that we all face, making our bodies healthier and more resilient to illness.

It is recommended that we should consume 5-9 servings a day of fruits and vegetables. But in our busy lifestyles, how do we do this? That is where the multi-billion-dollar nutritional business comes into play--to aid in helping everyone get these proper vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. But are there any dangers to these potent compounds? Well it is like anything in life; too much of anything can be bad for you, but there is little danger in eating a healthier diet. There can be problems when overusing a concentrated nutriceutical product ; that is why they are called supplements. Many of the supplements, drinks or powders on the market are very beneficial for people that don’t take time or cannot eat a healthy diet.

I am diabetic and I found a group of products that have proven to be very beneficial to my particular disease. I believe that there are many products on the market that can aid in a healthier lifestyle. The products I use provide me with everything my body needs. When I was diagnosed with diabetes, my A1c (which is a blood glucose reading) was at 11.7. The recommended number is below 6. I started eating healthier, exercising and taking several medications. This dropped my A1c to 8.7 after 4 months. I then added the nutrient products I use today, and my A1c dropped to 4.5. My A1c has stayed there for over a year and I have reduced all of my medications.

Proper nutrition is the key to living a healthy life, and if you can’t seem to make time to get the balanced diet needed, then find a supplement to help. Your body will love you for it.

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Comments (6)

wow very interesting, good work!

Hello...This was definitely an informative article. I'm not diabetic yet I am a bit of a health & wellness nut at times. I liked your article...Thanks again Steve.

Thank you Steve! Great article!

Way to go -practicing what you preach! I'm glad your really excellent advice worked for you. This was a wealth of information. Thanks Steve!

Thanks for this informative, well-written article.

Ranked #43 in Food Safety

an interesting article:D I like it;) well done:D