Many of us know that the CDC recommends that adults eat 1.5 to 2 cups of fruit and 2 to 3 cups of vegetables per day. And yet, an overwhelming majority of us don’t meet those recommendations.
For those of us that do, there’s more to it than just eating fruits and veggies too. For example, you need to get various nutrients, such as phytonutrients.
What is a phytonutrient anyway? And where can you get it? Read on to find out!
What Is a Phytonutrient?
Phytonutrients (also known as phytochemicals, polyphenols, and antioxidants) are chemicals that come from plants. This is what the “phyto” means.
Plants naturally produce phytonutrients to help them grow up stronger. These protect them from predators, pathogens, and even harmful UV radiation. So you can consider them as part of a plant’s immune system!
What’s interesting to note is that phytonutrients are not just what give fruits and vegetables their distinct smells, but also colors.
You might take various vitamins to reap different benefits. When it comes to phytonutrients, it’s the same story.
With the wide variety of phytonutrients comes separate benefits. Some might offer anti-inflammatory benefits while others boost your immune system. So it’s in your best interest to consume as many phytonutrients as possible!
Classes of Phytonutrients
As we’ve just discussed, there are several types of phytonutrients. Here are the key ones you should know about:
- Epigallocatechin-gallate (EGCG)
Health Benefits of Phytonutrients
Above, we’ve mentioned that phytonutrients can help with inflammation and your immune system. But they can actually do so much more!
For example, carotenoids are great for promoting healthy vision, in addition to the above two benefits. And glucosinolates can help you fend off certain types of cancer.
Phytoestrogens mimic estrogen, which means it’s good for women. They help with bone loss and endometrial cancer.
Polyphenols improve your cardiovascular health and ellagic acid can slow down the growth of cancer cells.
As you can see, you stand to benefit immensely by consuming phytonutrients!
Where Can You Get Phytonutrients?
You’ve now learned what phytonutrients are. And you have an idea of where they come from (plants). But where exactly can you get phytonutrients?
You’ll find them in:
- Red bell peppers
- Red cabbage
- Sweet potatoes
- Fava beans
Many people opt to consume whey products to get phytonutrients. With grass-fed whey protein, you can get additional benefits, such as vitamin A conversion, which helps with your immune system.
If you’re wondering about the difference between plant protein and whey protein, Fitppl has a great explanation.
Eat Better for a Healthier You
Now that you’ve learned what a phytonutrient is and where you can get them from, it’s time for a healthier you. But educating yourself on what’s good for your body, you’ll be able to eat better. And as a result, you’ll not only look great, but feel great too!
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