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Your mom has always told you to eat your vegetables. Whether you listen or not, could be affecting your health. The reason why vegetables are so important to have in your diet is highlighted in a recent article by the Hippocrates Health Institute.
Vegetables are a good source of vitamins and fiber, but the tiny compounds that scientists are most interested in are the phytonutrients. These specific plant compositions allows a plant to protect itself from fungi, disease, and bugs. Research is showing that those phytonutrients help your body protect itself in similar ways, when included in your diet.
The Hippocrates Health Institute reports “Organic fruits and vegetables have far more phytonutrients than nonorganic plants. This is because nonorganic plants become dependent upon the artificial, chemically-synthesized pesticides and fungicides farmers spray on them to help them grow. Consequently, the plants stop producing many of the antibodies needed to naturally deal with these challenges. Phytonutrients are also very sensitive to heat and are destroyed by the cooking process. Therefore fresh, ripe, raw, organic, and whole fruits, vegetables, and sprouts are the best source of these powerful defenders for your immune system.” There are 5 key benefits the body is rewarded with when consuming fresh, organic, raw vegetables:
Antioxidant: Phytonutrients work to rid our bodies of damaging free radicals. If left to roam in the body, free radicals can cause damage to cells, proteins, and even your DNA.
Antibiotic: Phytonutrients are known to boost your immune system to help prevent bacterial infections.
Cancer preventative: Some of the phytonutrients studied, specifically in broccoli and tomatoes, are thought to have cancer preventing properties.
Anti-inflammatory: Many are known to have properties to reduce inflammation within the body.
Immune support: Phytonutrients have qualities to support your immune function. This is done in partnership when inflammation in the body is reduced, encouraging tissue support and protection.
According to The Hippocrates Health Institute, scientists have identified more than 25,000 phytonutrients in plant foods. Many phytonutrients give plants their distinctive colors such as the green, orange, and red in spinach, carrots, and bell peppers. Here are just a few:
Chlorophyll – wheatgrass, spirulina, chlorella, barley grass, and in all leafy greens. Good for healthy blood, brain, all bodily tissues, detox, lowers blood pressure, glowing skin.
Beta-carotene – carrots, yams and green leafy vegetables. Good for Healthy eyes, skin, hair, bones, teeth and sex.
Lycopene – tomatoes, watermelon, pink grapefruits and apricots. Good for boosting the immune system and cancer of the mouth, esophagus, lung, stomach, intestines, prostate, cervical and colon.
Selenium – brazil nuts and walnuts. Boosting the immune system especially for people dealing with colds, flus, AIDS/ HIV, and tuberculosis. Excellent for the thyroid and it is anti-aging!
Diindolylmethane – broccoli, kale, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts and collard greens. Strengthens the immune system.
Allyl Sulfides – garlic, onions, and shallots. Strengthens the immune system, good for allergies, colds, and flu.
Curcuminoids – Turmeric. This phytonutrient has been shown to have anti-inflammatory, pro-digestive, and anti-infectious activities.
Listen to your mother, and eat those vegetables!