What are phytonutrients?
These are compounds found in plants, nutrients that protect the plant from UV radiation. Pretty smart, right? Research has shown that just as in plants, these smart chemicals have the ability to combat free radicals in the human body.
Free radicals are atoms or groups of atoms with an unpaired number of electrons. These can be formed through oxidation (when oxygen interacts with molecules). These highly reactive radicals can interact and affect cell membranes and DNA molecules making way for disease.
Aging, cancer, cell mutation, immune function damage, heart disease, and much more are all influenced by the body’s ability or antioxidant availability to combat these nasty cruisers.
Things you should know
Go Red and Pink
Research shows that lycopene slows down aging and protects your skin from the damaging effects of sun. Fruits like strawberries and cherries are packed with anthocynins and flavonoids that may help with lowering bad cholesterol and blood pressure.
Turn Blue & Purple
Anthocyanins help to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and protect your cells. Fruits and vegetables like plums, prunes, blackberries, blueberries, and eggplants are all a great source of this antioxidant.
Put on your Orange & Yellow
Beta-carotene takes care of your eyes and may protect from some forms of cancer. This antioxidant is rich in carrots, pumpkin, winter squash, sweet potatoes, and peaches.
Stay in the Green
Antioxidants such as Vitamin C & E, quercetin & sulforaphane are all present in broccoli, spinach kale and all other green leafy vegetables which combat free radicals and help protect cells from further damage. Have them any time of the day, preferably raw.
- 1-2 cups spinach, kale, or arugula
- 1⁄2 yellow pepper
- 1⁄2 red pepper
- 1⁄2 green or red apple
- 1 medium cucumber
- 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds or pine nuts
- 1-2 tbsp feta cheese or vegan cheese, optional*
- 1 tbsp tahini (sesame seed paste)
- pinch of cayenne pepper
- pinch of sea salt
- 1-2 tbsp water
- Chop all vegetables and place in a salad bowl.
- Mix all salad ingredients.
- In a separate bowl mix the dressing ingredients.
- Drizzle over your salad and
Enjoy your way to great health,