Phytonutrients are chemicals found in plants that are necessary for the health and defense of the plant. And, some of them can also be useful to the human body. They’re found in all fruits and vegetables and many phytonutrient-rich foods have deep or bright colors—such as blueberries, red cabbage, tomatoes, and kale.
However, not all of these foods are jewel-toned! Whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds, herbs, and spices are also sources of these chemical compounds.
Generally speaking, phytonutrients have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and they may reduce cancer risks and promote liver health. There are upwards of 25,000 of these chemicals, but some in particular have been studied extensively and are known for their health benefits. Here are a few:
- Carotenoids, including beta-carotene, lycopene, and lutein, are responsible for the yellow, orange and red colors in fruits and vegetables. They have antioxidant benefits in the body and promote healthy eyes and vision.
- Ellagic acid, found in fruits including strawberries and raspberries, is thought to help protect the body against cancer.
- Flavonoids, which are divided into several categories including catechins, hesperidin, and flavonols, may lower the risk of asthma and certain types of cancer, and act as antioxidants and anti-inflammatories.
- Resveratrol, found in grapes and red wine, acts as an anti-inflammatory, possibly reducing the risk of heart disease and cancer.
- Sulfides, found in onions and garlic, are antioxidants, and support immunity and cardiovascular health. They also stimulate the body to get rid of harmful chemicals.
One great way to get the benefits of many different phytonutrients is by eating foods that cover the full spectrum of the rainbow! There’s also another way to get Phyonutrients into your daily diet, we’ll cover this below…
Anyways, different colors offers different benefits, which is why it’s so important to eat the spectrum! (Though, admittedly, there is some crossover of phytonutrients.) Here’s a quick rundown of those you can enjoy this summer and one of the benefits each color offers.
Red: Lycopene, ellagic acid, hesperidin, and anthocyanin
Potential benefits include: Lowered cholesterol, reduced risk of heart disease, improved circulation, reduced inflammation, improved endurance and athletic performance, and better digestion.
In season: Apples, cherries, chili peppers, pink grapefruit, radishes, red apples, red bell peppers, red cabbage, strawberries, tomatoes, and watermelon.
Orange/Yellow: beta-carotene, alpha-carotenoids, hesperetin, beta-cryptoxanthin, and lutein
Potential benefits include: Boosted immune system, healthy eyes, reduced risk of macular degeneration, stronger bones, reduced inflammation response.
In season: Apricots, cantaloupes, carrots, corn, mangoes, melon, nectarines, peaches, and summer squash.
Blue/Purple: Anthocyanins, betanin, vulgaxanthin, flavonoids, lutein, and resveratrol
Potential benefits include: improved memory, healthier aging, boosted immune system, and antioxidant protection.
In season: Blackberries, blueberries, eggplant, figs, grapes, huckleberries, marionberries, and plums.
Green: Chlorophyll, lutein, zeaxanthin, indoles, isothiocyanate, flavonoids, and sulforaphane
Potential benefits include: eye health, cancer prevention, reduced inflammation, and better digestion.
In season: Chard, cilantro, cucumbers, green beans, green onions, lemongrass, limes, okra, peas, spinach, and zucchini.
How to Easily Get Phytonutrients Into Your Diet?
Back in 2009, Beachbody set out to create a new type of health shake that would be unlike anything else on the market. The goal was to make something that would be like a daily vitamin supplement with powerful super foods from around the world.
After searching the globe, Beachbody created a whole food, superfood shake called Shakeology. This health shake includes only naturally grown ingredients to give you the following core nutrient groups:
- Protein and Amino Acids – Whey, Pea, Brown Rice, Chia, Quinoa, Amaranth, Flax, Sacha Inchi (Vegan flavors don’t include Whey)
- Antioxidants and Super Fruits – Cacao, Coconut Flower Nectar, Acerola Cherry, Pomegranate, Camu-Camu, Bilberry, Goji Berry, Blueberry, Açai, Green Tea, Rose Hips, Cinnamon, Luo Han Guo
- Phytonutrients and Super-Greens – Moringa, Spirulina, Chlorella, Spinach, Barley Grass, Kamut Grass, Oat Grass, Wheat Grass
- Adaptogen Herbs – Maca, Astragalus, Ashwagandha, Maitake Mushroom, Cordyceps, Reishi Mushroom, Schisandra, Ginkgo, Tulsi (Holy Basil)
- Prebiotics and Probiotics – Yacon Root, Lactobacillus Sporogenes (Bacillus Coagulans)
- Digestive Enzymes – Amylase, Papain, Cellulase, Lactase, Lipase, Protease, Bromelain
As a result of combining these powerful nutrient groups, Shakeology has shown the following health benefits time and time again:
- Helped With Continuous Weight Loss Over Time (Clinically proven)
- Lowered Cholesterol (Clinically proven)
- Lowered Blood Sugar (Clinically proven)
- Reduced Hunger & Food Cravings
- Promoted Healthier Skin, Hair, and Nails
- Increased Energy
- Boosted Immune System
- Lowered Blood Pressure
- Improved Digestion & Regularity
Have a great day!
P.S. If you’re interested, you can also buy Shakeology samples before committing to a flavor. Check them out below:
Or find out how save money on Shakeology here!