When we talk about wellness, most of us refer to our state of well-being as it pertains to our quality of life. The universal perspective on wellness has six tenets; social, emotional, spiritual, intellectual, occupational and physical. Some also add environmental and financial aspects as dimensions of wellness. Wellness, much like health is a lifelong marathon. It also requires a level of awareness of our surroundings and a commitment to making daily choices that are in our best interest.
What are phytonutrients?
An essential group of nutrients needed for optimal health known as phytonutrients, or phytochemicals. These are the nutrients often concentrated in the outer skins of many fruits and vegetables. These phytochemicals are responsible for their color, scent, and flavor. Examples of foods rich in these nutrients include: tomatoes, red onions, green tea, grapes, red cabbages, sweet potatoes, etc. Plant-based foods promote good health. We have known for a while that plant-based foods are extremely beneficial to consume, and phyto-nutrients may be the reason why. Phytonutrients help the cells communicate better with each other, prevent mutations at a cellular level, anti-inflammatory, antioxidants and many other functions we are only beginning to understand.
Why are they so important…
What we do know is they help fight cancer, heart disease and most chronic diseases in general. They have properties that are anti-aging, boost the immune system and generally promote health. Phyto-nutrients are compounds found in plants. They serve various functions in plants, helping to protect the plant’s vitality. For the human body phytochemicals may have the potential to:
- Aid the function of the immune system
- Protect cells and DNA from damage that may lead to cancer
- Reduce inflammation
- Slow the growth rate of some cancer cells
- Help regulate hormones
Phyto-nutrients are chemical compounds in plants that protect it from invaders, pests, and environmental toxins. It is not just the vitamins and minerals that make vegetables highly nutritious. In general, it is the phyto-nutrients which help prevent disease and infection, and improve general wellness. The best known phyto-nutrients are the carotenoids, flavonoids, polyphenols, indoles, lignans and isoflavones. Each class of phyto-nutrients has different effects, the more varied the colors the better. This is because like other nutrients; different phyto-nutrients offer different benefits and work synergistically with each other. For example, flavonoids and carotenoids have more health promoting properties when they’re eaten together in the same food rather than when they are taken separately. It is always best to get your phyto-nutrients from fresh organic fruits and vegetables.
We also recommend Waridi’s Naturals (baobab, neem and Moringa powders) which will supply you with your daily spectrum of phyto-nutrients.
Pills or Organic Sources?
These phyto-nutrients allow for optimal cellular function, regeneration and communication. When our cells are communicating effectively, the proper sequence of enzymatic reactions take place. This all leads to biochemical reactions for creating healthier tissues, organs, detoxification of foreign substances, a strong immune system, and muscles that will perform optimally at all times. The key is to watch out for what you consider to be as your source of minerals and nutrients. Consuming isolated supplement pills are pointless; these supplements are essentially missing key co-factors or enzymes found in plants and necessary for the body to gain full benefits. This is like taking out the engine of a car and expecting it to work the same way. In order to receive the proper minerals, ideally the food has to be bio-available, meaning they can be utilized by the body.