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What are Phytochemicals (Phytonutrients)?
Don't be overwhelmed by this big word, phytochemicals, there won't be a spelling test at the end of the day. You won't even need to understand all of the powerful properties of phytonutrients to appreciate what they do for you. You just need to know where to get them and you probably won't be surprised to find out that the richest sources of phytochemicals are in fruits, vegetables, beans and nuts.
The problem is - you are not eating enough of them. Several years of effort to promote increases in fruit and vegetable consumption to at least five servings per day have failed to substantially change public eating behaviors. Recent records, according to Barbara Berry of the Produce for Better Health Foundation, show that Americans are eating only 3.4 servings of fruits and vegetables per day - and 52% of that consumption comes from potatoes, lettuce, and canned tomatoes.
Even if you are eating the recommended daily amounts of fruits and vegetables, you're STILL not getting all of the phytonutrients and vitamins your body MUST have to function properly! You may THINK you're getting the right assortment of fruits and vegetables. Just like the bananas you see in the store which are green, the rest of the produce is also cut before it matures. When these fruits and vegetables are picked green, they lack many of the necessary phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals.
Most of these properties don't exist in the plant until the final days of ripening on the vine. When this occurs, the fruits and vegetables become very soft. This isn't feasible for our growers to do. By the time they would arrive at your local grocery store, the fruits and vegetables would be bad or destroyed. So instead, they pick our fruits and vegetables before they are ripe and allow them to ripen during the shipping process or while they sit in your local grocery stores.
The solution to this problem is to pick these vegetables after they are mature or vine-ripened and flash freeze them. When vegetables are flash frozen, they turn into a powdered form and retain all of their nutritional properties. These flash frozen fruits and vegetables are then put into tablets and sold as nutritional supplements.
To learn more about phytochemicals go to:
Independant Mannatech Associate and glyconutrients consultant
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