We have all heard that it is important to eat fruits and vegetables everyday. Some of us actually do eat the minimum recommended servings. However science has discovered that consuming increased amounts can provide even greater health benefits.
The value of fruits and vegetables goes beyond that of the vitamins and minerals they contain. The discovery of a class of micronutrients (phytonutrients) is largely why major health agencies recommend a minimum of five different fruits and vegetables daily. Phytonutrients are not essential for life, but they appear to be essential for OPTIMAL HEALTH and LONGEVITY.
Phytochemicals are compounds that exist in plants to protect them from the sunlight and affect human beings and other mammals in a number of beneficial ways. The more Phytochemicals you add to your diet, the greater the degree of health protection you can enjoy. People who eat large quantities of fruits and vegetables have reduced risks of cancer. A lifelong diet of phytochemicals plays an important role in health and longevity.
When it comes to fighting cancer, cruciferous vegetables may be the real champs. These plant micronutrients work by speeding up the production of enzymes, especially in the liver, with which our bodies convert toxic, mutagenic (cancer causing) chemicals into less harmful substances. The Journal of the National Cancer Institute proclaimed that cruciferous vegetables substantially lowered the risk of prostate cancer in men. Various studies also suggest a protective role in cervical, uterine and breast cancers in women.
It is important to know which fruits and vegetables contain these important phytochemicals. The National Cancer Institute recognizes the following twelve (12) fruits and vegetables important for their phytonutrient content: pineapple, papaya, turnips, carrots, tomatoes, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, garlic, and onions.
Phytochemicals concentrated or prepared in such a way as to likely have therapeutic effects are generally referred to as "nutraceuticals". According to one source, twenty (20) heads of cabbage, juiced and dehydrated, will fit into 0ne (1) capsule of cabbage powder.
It is difficult for most adults to eat a variety of all twelve (12) fruits and vegetables on a daily basis. What about your children? Every parent knows how difficult it can be to get children to eat the right foods that support healthy growth. This requirement becomes especially difficult when it comes to making sure they snack on nutritious foods, instead of high calorie sweets and other "junk" foods.
A Texas based company has recently developed an innovative product for children. Delicious, chewy pectin "gummi-bears" that contain green tea, fruits and vegetables, the ideal snack to help children stay healthy and grow properly.
To learn more about the benefits of phytonutrients go to http://www.glycoscience.org. For information on the children's supplement, e-mail Dr. Enders at [email protected], with "gummi-bears" in subject line.
Dr. David K. Enders is a 1973 graduate of the Palmer College of Chiropractic. He served four years in the U.S. Air Force as a medic before entering college. Dr. Enders has studied nutrition for 30 years and has had several articles on nutrition published in professional journals. After completing a Clinical Teaching Residency at Palmer College of Chiropractic he moved to the Chicago area, where he now provides nutritional counseling. His web site is: http://www.OptimalHealth.TopChiro.com
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