We’re well into flu season and it is certainly not a pretty one. With several people feeling ill and sick all around us, how do we stay on top of our health? The tried and tested suggestions include staying hydrated, listening to your body, loading up on Vitamin C, essential oils and more!
I thought it would be fitting to introduce the concept of Phytochemicals, which are chemical compounds produced by plants. Because there are beneficial and detrimental phytochemicals, I want to draw attention to the beneficial ones that you can incorporate into your diet.
Here is a list of popular phytochemicals:
Carotenoids – These are plant pigments responsible for the yellow, orange, and red color of a variety of fruits and vegetables such as red peppers, tomatoes, carrots and sweet potatoes. One of the most popular carotenoids is beta-carotene. This group of phytochemicals offer the ability to reduce oxidative damage in the body and could help boost immunity.
Flavonoids – Also known as flavanols, they’re most common in fruits and vegetables such as apples, broccoli, cranberries, kale, pears, red grapes, and cherries. They’re power is most commonly associated with the potential of reducing cardiovascular disease as well as lower blood pressure.
Anthocyanins – Similar to carotenoids in that these are also considered plant pigments, they are found fruits and vegetables that come in reds, blues and purples. For example, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and eggplants, and they’re strong in antioxidants geared up to boost immunity.
Sulforaphane – This is a phytochemical naturally found in broccoli sprouts, Brussel sprouts, and cabbage. Consuming young, mature broccoli sprouts offers the greatest potency, the only catch is that you have to consume A LOT and you need a few other enzymes to assist in the production of the phytochemicals.
Whether you’ve read about phytochemicals or not, I’ve listed them to help remind you how to vary your dietary intake this winter season. If you’re interested in supplements, speak to your doctor first. For example, to obtain sulforaphane, there is a supplement available now called BROCSPROUT2. There are a handful of supplements for Beta-carotene, and even Super Antioxidant blends. It is important to note that a varied diet –rich in colorful vegetables and fruits – is certainly the most effective.
Note: This is not a sponsored post