Phytonutrients and disease prevention, is there any possible connection? These nutrients play a very important role in health but they are not vitamins or minerals; however they are critical in helping with the absorption of both in your body.
They are not essential for life like vitamins and minerals, but they can certainly improve both the quality of life as well as possibly extending life. They may also play an increasing important part of preventing cancer and other diseases from attacking your body. But what are they?
What are Phytonutrients?
The actual term photo is a Greek derivative that means plants. Phytonutrients are the organic various forms of plants and are rapidly being recognized as extremely important components that assist both vitamins and minerals in keeping our bodies healthy.
There is growing evidence that they may also help in fighting several diseases, especially cancer from attacking your cellular structure as they are huge cellular protectors.
The vitamin industry has been led by Liquid Vitamin manufactures in adding these critical plant components to their formulations and they have been so successful that most of the industry are following their lead and adding them as well.
To fully understand what they are, it helps to understand how they work. The next time you are in your garden, look at your various vegetables and plants and ask yourself how they are protected by ultraviolet light, infections, and pollution. The answer is very simple; they are protected by chemicals that are found in phytonutrients.
These chemical components are naturally found in a wide variety of plants and are also known as secondary plant metabolites, which are substances that are necessary for or take part in certain metabolic processes.
And just like the roles that they play in protecting plants and vegetables, they play that same role in something much more important; protecting the human body along with vitamins and minerals.
There are literally several thousands of chemicals that are present in the food that we eat and no one source will ever agree on the number of exact classifications. Vitamins have 13 major classifications, minerals 14, but minerals could be argued to have many more and the same will be true with Phytonutrients.
Some sources will suggest that there are two major classifications, while others will suggest as many as nine. Nonflavonoids and Flavonoids make up the most popular classes, and Nonflavonoids can be found in strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, as well as Tonka beans.
Flavonoids in various forms are found in fruits, citrus, vegetables, tea, soybeans, onions, and endive.
Cranberries, red grapes, grape juice and certain nuts are also excellent sources, as well as red wine. However, there are still other classifications that play very important roles in protecting your body against potential disease.
The following are other classifications that help your body every day.
Carotenoids help bring out the bright colors in fruits and vegetables, but they are also very stringent as antioxidants that help with the heart and its functions. Sources of these forms of phytonutrients are broccoli, tomatoes, spinach, and carrots. Isoflavones have shown in several tests to lower cholesterol and are found in beans, soybeans, kidney beans, and lentils.
Lignans team up with other nutrients to help in preventing diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. It is a natural form of estrogen so it naturally helps to lower the estrogen levels in your body that go bad and promote the growth of tumors. It is found primarily in flax seed and sesame seeds.
Indoles help to regulate your hormones and sources of this nutrient are found in broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage. Saponins help to bind and than excrete bile acids, which helps to lower cholesterol levels. This nutrient is found in potatoes, spinach, and herbs.
Organ sulfur compounds are found in both garlic and onions and help keep cholesterol levels low; and polyphenols are very potent antioxidants that produce cancer fighting enzymes. This nutrient is found primarily in green tea and strawberries. Monoterpenes is found in the peels of oranges and lemons, and is also virulent in attacking cancer cells.
Phytonutrients help with cellular function and regeneration of cells which is a critical part of controlling cancer. They fight the development of cancer from within your body. They help to shut down the precancerous cells that go bad and multiply in gang like styles of attack against the non affected cells.
Cancer is well documented to start with just one cell that losses control by either wearing out or is weakened by repeated attacks and can not be replaced in time by a new cell. Metastasis is the process where the cell weakens, is attacked, and than overcome by cancer. In most cases your immune system defeats this process but it needs all the help that it can get.
Adding these micro nutrients daily in your diet along with vitamins and minerals is something that could improve your quality of life as well as possible extending it.
Is there any real wonder that countries that have diets high in these micro nutrients have a much longer lifespan and a much lower cancer rate then we have in United States? The liquid vitamin industry was the first to recognize the importance of phytonutrients but the rest of the industry is changing very rapidly to keep up with the many benefits of combining all three of them together.