Have you heard about phytonutrients? Do you know what they are and how they help your body? In this note, you will discover that these are one of the most common elements in our diet, beneficial to our health and easy to obtain.
What are phytonutrients?
Phytonutrients are plant-specific chemicals, which is also called phytochemicals. The function of these chemicals is to protect plants from environmental threats such as insects, fungi, and germs, among others.
Phytochemicals are not vital to the human body but if you consume them you can improve your health. To do this, it is enough to consume vegetable foods of various colors and types.
It is estimated that there are more than 25,000 phytonutrients available in nature so they are classified into several groups for study.
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The first group of phytonutrients is carotenoids. Of these, there are about 600 different types and when you consume them, they act as antioxidants in your body. This means that they fight free radicals and their negative effects.
These phytochemicals can be obtained from yellow plants ( mango and pineapple), oranges (carrots and papaya) and red (tomatoes and red pepper). By consuming them, your body can convert them into vitamin A, so they strengthen your immune system and improve eyesight.
The second group of phytonutrients has an effect similar to the estrogens that your body produces naturally. For this reason, they are also called phytoestrogens. Some of the foods that contain lignans are strawberries, broccoli, and peaches. You can also find them in sesame seeds and flax seed.
Among the benefits of lignans is their ability to prevent cancers associated with hormones, such as endometrium and ovarian cancer. They also help combat the effects of menopause and postmenopause.
The third group of phytonutrients is well known to be an ingredient of red wine. The reality is that you can get it from grapes, peanuts, cocoa, and blueberries.
Two of the benefits of resveratrol is that it can stop cognitive degeneration and improve blood flow in the brain. He has also been investigated for its benefits for type two diabetes patients and improvements in insulin sensitivity have been noted.
We have already talked about curcumin before, but in case you still do not know it, you should know that it is a common element of turmeric. This chemical is the cause of that characteristic yellow color.
Curcumin has been a common ingredient in Indian cuisine. In this culture, it is believed that it helps to treat small discomforts to big health problems, such as Alzheimer’s.
Over the years it has been proven that this type of phytonutrients has an effect that combats cancer and reduces the growth of cancer cells. Curcumin also reduces the levels of LDL cholesterol that affect the health of your heart and elevates HDL cholesterol, which is beneficial for your health.
This type of phytonutrient is also called tannin and you can get it from nuts, pomegranates, blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries. This phytonutrient has anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer and antioxidant effects. They also help reduce blood pressure and arterial plaque so your heart will be healthier.
In case you have liver problems, this acid can detoxify and fight the toxins that make you sick. This does not mean that you will have a completely healthy liver without effort. However, it will help you recover your health.
The last group of phytonutrients are flavonoids, of which there are several groups such as flavanones, anthocyanins, and flavonols. This group of phytochemicals is easy to obtain because they are in a large amount of food, such as broccoli, lemon, tomatoes, coffee and red wine.
Flavonoids are often mentioned as one of the chemicals that reduce the effects of age, heart problems and cancer.
We are sure that now you will understand better the effects of phytochemicals and you will have greater reasons to eat varied plant foods. Remember that although they are not vital, they are very helpful.
We also recommend you to read this article: http://www.speakymagazine.com/techniques-to-calm-anxiety-when-dieting/