What are Phytonutrients and Why are they Important?

Phytonutrients are plant-based chemicals that are beneficial for the human body. They help protect the body against several illnesses and keep the body functioning well. Plant-based foods such as fruits, vegetables, spices, and edible flowers contain phytonutrients.

The smell and color of many food items are due to the presence of phytonutrients in them. So foods that contain phytochemicals are very colorful but some white foods such as garlic, onion, and olive oil are also rich in these chemicals. These nutrients act as the plant’s immune system protecting against viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites. 

Health Benefits of Phytonutrients

Phytonutrients play a vital role in the prevention of diseases and the maintenance of a healthy body. Let’s talk about some of the potential health benefits of phytonutrients-

  1. Phytonutrients reduce oxidative stress: Some phytonutrients act as anti-oxidants in the human body. Free radicals present in the body are very reactive molecules produced by toxins and normal metabolic processes. These unstable free radicals if left unchecked can cause damage to the DNA and cell components. Oxidative stress can damage DNA and cause mutations thereby leading to cancer or other diseases. Phytonutrients as antioxidants neutralize the free radicals and prevent the damage they could cause. 
  2. Phytonutrients reduce Inflammation: Inflammation in the body is the natural reaction to any damage caused. Chronic inflammation can be linked to some serious medical conditions that can range from connective tissue illness to cancer. Phytonutrients present in foods can reduce inflammation in the body.
  3. Phytonutrients support the Immune system: Some phytonutrients support the immune functioning in the body. Studies found that some phytonutrients have anti-microbial properties that reduce the chance of harmful bacteria and viruses being divided and growing inside the body. Phytonutrients can also modulate the immune system and helps maintain the balance between an overactive immune system and an underactive immune system.  
  4. Protection of the Brain: Although more research is needed in this area some studies found the positive effects of phytonutrients on brain functioning in people with Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. These effective phytonutrients include berberine, curcumin, epigallocatechin-3-galate, resveratrol, quercetin, and limonoids. 
  5. Protection against Cancer: Some studies have found the relevance of phytonutrients in fighting certain types of cancers including skin cancers. Some phytochemicals can help repair the DNA, reduce the growth of tumors, and facilitate the process of cell growth. The diet you take might act as a sunscreen to cancerous growth if it contains essential nutrients such as curcumin, proanthocyanidins, and capsaicin. 
  6. Treatment of Diseases: Research has emphasized the ability of phytonutrients for health maintenance and disease prevention. Researchers are trying to examine the role of phytonutrients in the treatment of diseases. Some earlier studies also revealed how some phytonutrients may help fight cancer. Other foods rich in phytonutrients may fight against various heart diseases. 

Final Thoughts

Adding phytonutrients to your diet can have positive effects on your body. But it is difficult to get all these vital phytonutrients from the diet. It is easy to get the desired quantity by eating a rainbow diet.

If you don’t know how to begin taking these essential nutrients, then try our wide range of GULA foods.       

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