They have been hailed by some people in the health science community as the “unsung heroes of the health.” What are they and why have they been overlooked by many nutritionists? They are phytonutrients and our Siberian Chaga products contain the highest amounts of these substances. (Our products are also GMO free.) Let’s take a look at these plant based substances to understand why they are so important to us humans.
What are Phytonutrients?
To put it simply, phytonutrients are nutrients that are in plants (phyto meaning plant). They work to protect plants from threats such as viruses and bacteria. In that, they are essentially health boosters for our plant friends. They can be found in the skin of plants and act as guardians of their immune system. As a class, phytonutrients come in 4 types:
- Carotenoids – According to the USDA, Carotenoids basically give fruit and vegetables their red, orange and yellow color. More than that, they are believed to help lower the risk of heart disease.
- Ellagic acid – Found in blackberries, cranberries, pecans, pomegranates, raspberries, strawberries, walnuts and grapes, Ellagic acid is believed to possess anti-cancer properties.
- Flavonoids – Found naturally in berries, legumes, tea, grapes, olive oil, cocoa, walnuts, peanuts, spices, fruits, green vegetables and onions, this substance acts against the damage done to the cells by free radicals.
- Resveratrol – This substance is found in great amounts in food such as purple grape skins, purple grapes, strawberries, blueberries, mulberries, peanuts and red wine.
Reasons Phytonutrients Should be in your Diet
You may be wondering how phytonutrients relate to human health. As it turns out, phytonutrients can help protect humans, too! Here are just some of the benefits of phytonutrients.
- They protect us from inflammation: Reduced inflammation in the body is thought to reduce the occurrence of chronic diseases, improve digestion, and improve energy.
- They shield us from aging and free radical damage: Free radicals are molecules that can damage the protein in our cells. Many phytonutrients have antioxidant properties that help to counteract the damage done to our cells by free radicals.
- They may help prevent cancer: According to the latest research, phytonutrients possess cancer fighting properties.
- They lower bad cholesterol: High cholesterol has long been known to be a cause of heart disease. Saponins – a phytonutrient found in legumes – have been shown to lower cholesterol.
- They defend us from infections: Just as phytonutrients protect plants against bacteria and viruses, they are also great for protecting humans from infections caused by parasites, fungi and bacteria.
Many of our earthborn products contain phytonutrients such as our Siberian Chaga. We believe in aiding the immune systems against all the forces that would weaken it. However, we do it in a natural way.