What we all know for sure is that we need them in our diet.
Plants produce polyphenols, otherwise called phytonutrients. According to Jo Robinson, in her amazing book, Eating on the Wild Side, The Missing Link to Optimum Health, more than 8,000 different phytonutrients have been identified. Each plant can produce several hundred.
Plants have enemies, believe it or not. They must guard themselves against insects, disease, damaging UV light, extreme weather conditions, and of course, foraging animals.
Plants are stationary. They can’t fight or hide. They don’t have the typical weaponry of the animal kingdom.
So how do they protect themselves? With their arsenal of chemical compounds, called phytonutrients!
For us, phytonutrients function as powerful antioxidants that guard against free radicals, reduce the risk of infection, reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure, lower LDL cholesterol, boost immunity, lower cancer risk, contribute to weight loss, protect the aging brain, improve mood, and the list goes on.
Thank you, plant world!
Whether you are an omnivore, vegetarian, or a vegan, try filling your shopping cart or farmer’s market basket with more organic produce to maximize the protection you can gain from all that nature provides.
Savor the freshness of this summer’s bounty!