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Fruits and Vegetables and Phytochemicals


I'm willing to bet you probably haven't heard the word 'phytochemicals' before. But you've been eating them your whole life and they are vitally important to your life and well-being. They are one of the keys to real health.

So, what are they? Phytochemicals are biologically active substances in food. They have health enhancing abilities and possibly curative abilities. They number in the hundreds in most plant foods. They are found in fruits, vegetables, legumes and grains.

Phytochemicals work together with nutrients to promote health and prevent disease. When you eat some broccoli or a tomato, you get all of these phytochemicals. So, can't you just take a supplement? You could, but first of all, scientists have isolated only a few of the phytochemicals in foods. But these work best in combination, so taking just one, isolated phytochemical is not anywhere near as effective.

For example, let's look at lycopene. It is found in tomatoes and is an antioxidant. Antioxidants are a large and important subject, but for now, let's just simplify and say that antioxidants help to repair cellular damage.

Scientists did studies and found that tomatoes had a noticeable effect against prostate cancer. They analyzed the tomato and isolated lycopene. Then the scientists did more studies, using lycopene. The effect on prostate cancer was much less. Does this mean that lycopene doesn't work?

No, it means that it works best in combination with all the other phytochemicals in tomatoes, and the nutrients. You don't get that from a chemically identical, but lab-created, lycopene.

Eating a tomato is good for you, of course. But eating all the tomatoes you would need to get what you need from them would be quite a task. So, a whole foods powder that I use, Berry Greens, offers freeze dried tomatoes, in a form that retains the nutrients. And a whole lot of other vegetables and fruits as well. You get all the benefits of eating all those fruits and vegetables, without having to consume all that food.

Most foods have not been analyzed and even those that have been, scientists have only been able to isolate a few of the phytochemicals. Most vegetables have hundreds of phytochemicals, and it's not likely they will all be isolated, analyzed and understood any time soon. We do know now, though, that they do work together to provide real health for us.

Barbara Pfieffer writes about gaining real health on her blog, Real Health. She has resources on what supplements really work, the differences among carbohydrates and other information to bring you to real health.


MORE RESOURCES:

News 13 Orlando

Captain Citrus here to teach about nutrition
News 13 Orlando
Captain Citrus here to teach about nutrition. The Florida Department of Citrus partnered with Marvel to create Captain Citrus. The super hero helps educate kids about the importance of eating and drinking fruits and vegetables. The Florida Department ...

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Devex

Gates Foundation 'more than doubling down' on nutrition
Devex
A special panel on nutrition (from left to right): Chairwoman of the Republican Women's Policy Committee Rep. Renee Ellmers, U.S. Department of Agriculture Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Co-chair Melinda Gates and ...

and more »


Shape Magazine

Congress Wants to Delay the FDA's Nutrition Label Rule
Shape Magazine
Once again, Obamacare is under fire—but this time the issue isn't health insurance, it's nutrition labels. Right now, Congress is going head-to-head with the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) recent regulation that food establishments provide ...
McCaskill Calls for Delay of Certain Menu Labeling RequirementsPoliticalNews.me (press release)

all 5 news articles »


Live Science

Egg Whites: Health Benefits & Nutrition Facts
Live Science
One egg provides more than six grams of protein, or 13 percent of the recommended Daily Value (DV),” said Dr. Mitch Kanter, executive director of the Egg Nutrition Center, the research arm of the American Egg Board. Egg whites contain more than half ...



Here's a nutrition plan: eat and run
Timesonline.com
One of the first things our members ask us when they begin our program is "do we have nutritional plans?" The only plan we have is to educate them on the choices they are making and then need to change. “Eat and Run” means many things. It means that ...



NASCO Wins Endorsement of Nutrition Society
AllAfrica.com
NASCO Cornflakes, Nigeria's foremost and indigenous cereal brand has won the endorsement of Nutrition Society of Nigeria (NSN) "in respect of Nasco range of cornflakes as ready-to-eat cereal enriched with vitamins and minerals." A statement signed by ...

and more »


Quad City Times

Environmental Nutrition: Soy myths exposed
Quad City Times
Plenty of myths surround soy, from causing breast cancer to feminizing men. But what does the science say? Since 1990, more than 10,000 peer-reviewed studies have been conducted on soy, a food consumed worldwide in many forms over the centuries.



Sacramento Business Journal

Food, nutrition companies sweep top spots of UC Davis Big Bang business ...
Sacramento Business Journal
The top company — and winner of a $10,000 cash prize — was Scrumpt, a 2013 startup that mails low-cost, healthy weekly lunch plans with nutritious snacks across the country. Presented by the Child Family Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship ...



Nutrition Deprivation Common in Hospitalized IBD Patients
General Surgery News
“During a flare is when they need nutrition the most,” said Kimberly Kolkhorst, DO, a gastroenterologist at the University of South Florida, in Tampa, who led the study. Dr. Kolkhorst and her colleagues presented their findings at the 2014 Advances in ...



Fox News

Starbucks' new 'mini' Frappuccino: Here's what nutrition experts think
Fox News
This photo provided by Starbucks shows the Mini Frappuccino. Starbucks says it will start selling Frappuccinos in a miniature size starting Monday, May 11, 2015, making it the latest company to court customers by going smaller. (Anna Carson/Starbucks ...

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Google News


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