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05 Oct

Food Fighters - The Important Phytonutrients

 

"It's bizarre that the produce manager is more important to my children's health than the pediatrician."

~Meryl Streep

It's no surprise that fruits and vegetables are amazing foods to add to your diet whenever possible, being filled with wonderful nutrients like vitamins, minerals, healthy sugars, and fiber. What many people don't know are the health benefits that plant based foods provide through their beneficial phytonutrients. What is a phytonutrient you may ask?

Phytonutrients are chemical compounds found only in plant based foods that are essential for protecting the plant from fungus, bacteria, certain bugs, and other natural threats that would destroy them. In addition to helping the plant survive, these phytonutrients provide the human body with an assortment of nutrients that help us thrive. Research is just beginning to bloom on the nutritional role that phytonutrients can play in our bodies, but the results have shown that incorporating a variety of these plant based chemicals into your diet can help build your immune system, fight certain types of cancer, and signs of aging. Next time you are enjoying your favorite fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and even nuts and seeds which are found in Betsy’s Best, remember that in addition to vitamins and minerals, you will be getting the following health boost from the following phytonutrients....

Carotenoids- These are what give fruits and vegetables their orange, yellow, and red colors and can be found in an array of foods. A group of carotenoids (alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, etc.) can be converted in the body to form vitamin A, helping support eye health.

Flavonoids- This group of phytonutrients has been studied for their antioxidant potential in the body. They can be found in green tea, berries, apples, grapes, and onions. By incorporating flavonoids into your diet, you can help your body defend against many types of cancer and heart disease.

Allyl Sulfides- Although these nutrients don't give any color to fruits and vegetables, their nutritional impact on our health is enormous. These sulfur containing compounds are found in white foods such as onions, garlic, and honey, and act as very powerful antioxidants. They can help the body fight against types of cancer, heart disease, and can also improve bone health.

These are just a few of the thousands of types of phytonutrients that are present in plant foods. Just think, if you take your favorite fruit or vegetable and top it with Betsy’s Best Gourmet Nut and Seed Butters you double your benefits! As if you needed more motivation to add fruits and vegetables or Betsy’s Best to your diet. Now you can be assured that you are delivering these and many more nutritious phytonutrients to your plate!


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