Besides fiber, vitamins and minerals, plants also contain other phytonutrients – “phyto” is derived from the Greek word for “plant,” – many of which impart vibrant colors, flavors and aromas. Often antioxidants, these “protector nutrients” are crucial components of the plant’s defense systems against disease, predators, sunlight and oxidation.
The best part of phytonutrients is that they can protect us as well. Hundreds of research studies link phytonutrients or phytonutrient-rich diets to lower risks for ailments such as heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, cancer and blindness. Without these compounds in the diet, experts say, you’re opening the door to cellular damage, premature aging, disease and even death. At almost every step along the pathway leading to cancer, there is a phytonutrient that reduces the likelihood of transmission to the next step.
- Whole Grains
When supplementing, look for products with:
- whole food ingredients
- naturally occurring in the human food chain (non-algae)
See also Omega-6, Carotenoids, Flavonoids and Cruciferous
Go back to Basic Nutrient Glossary
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