Ever wonder why we are told to eat 9 servings of fruits and vegetables in a day?
This is because they contain compounds known as phytonutrients. The purpose of phytonutrients is to help protect the plant and increase the lifespan of the plant. Certain phytonutrients help to protect the plant from insects, while other phytonutrients help protect the plant from UV rays.
The good news is that these phytonutrients are passed along to those who eat them as well. To humans, phytonutrients have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and liver-health promoting activities.
While fruits and vegetables are concentrated sources of phytonutrients, there are other plant foods like whole grains, legumes/beans, nuts and seeds, and herbs and spices that also contain phytonutrients.
How can you decide if a fruit or vegetable may be rich in these nutrients? For one, you can check the internet of the usual plants that you consume throughout your day. The second option would be paying attention to the plant’s color. Due to the fact that many phytonutrients also serve as the pigment that gives foods their deep colors, you can identify many phytonutrient-rich foods by looking for colorful foods!
Listed are examples of colors to look out for while in the supermarket.
Pay attention to blue or purple plant foods like blueberries, blackberries and red cabbage (all of these are rich in flavonoids). Keep an eye out for yellow-orange foods like carrots, winter squash, papaya, and melon (rich in beta-carotene). Maybe buy some red or pink foods like tomatoes, guava, and watermelon (rich in lycopene). Don’t forget about green foods like kale, spinach, and collard greens (rich in chlorophyll).
Not all phytonutrients give color, so it’s important to keep in minds foods such as garlic, onions, and leeks- all high in phytonutrients!
Information retrieved from:http://whfoods.org/genpage.php?tname=dailytip&dbid=286