Newsletter 03/08/2021 | Volume 1, Issue 3


March is National Nutrition Month ®. During this month, we focus on increasing our awareness as to the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits. Consider using the following information to maintain a healthy weight and reduce the risk of chronic disease.

Awareness is Key! A mindful application of foods that contain phytonutrients and/or supplementation significantly decreases the risk of heart disease, diabetes,...

About those phytonutrients?

It seems everywhere you turn today you hear about the astonishing health benefits of antioxidants, phytonutrients, and nutraceuticals. This newsletter will focus on Phytonutrients. Phytonutrients, also known as plant (phyto) chemicals, are naturally ocurring chemicals or compounds produced by plants. Phytonutrients have been found to exhibit potential benefits in the prevention and treatment of dis-ease. For the past 20+ years, scientists have explored the healing properties of the thousands of naturally ocurring chemicals and compounds found in plants. According to the Journal of the American Dietetic Association: It is the position of the American Dietetic Association (ADA) that specific substances in foods (e.g. phytochemicals as naturally ocurring components and functional food components) may have a beneficial role in health as part of a varied diet. The Association supports research Regarding the health benefits and risks of these substances. Dietetics professionals will continue to work with the food industry and government to ensure that the public has accurate information in this emerging field. The report continues to say that phytonutrients are present in many frequently consumed foods, especially fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes and seeds. Phytonutrients are also found in less common foods as licorice and green tea. it’s hard to deny the benefits of phytonutrients. We just need to eat right, right? It’s not quite that simple. Even if we consciously eat as colorful and healthy a diet as we can, we might need to proactively boost our defenses with phytonutrient supplementation. The nutrient, vitamin and mineral levels in food have been steadily declining for many decades.

Phytonutrient health benefits.

  • Carotenoids are found in red, orange, yellow and green plants (cooked tomatoes, carrots, squash and broccoli) and may inhibit cancer growth and cardiovascular dis-ease and boost immunity.
  • Flavonoids are found in berries, apples, citrus, onions, soybeans, and coffee may fight inflammation and tumor growth.
  • Anthocyanins are found in berries and red wine are associated with lower blood pressure.
  • Resveratrol is found in red wine, grapes, dark chocolate, and peanuts is associated with longevity in some animals.
  • Proanthocyanidins and flavanols are found in grapes, apples, cocoa, and red wine are linked to better function of the lining of the arteries and reduced blood pressure.
  • Quercetin is found in apples, onions, and citrus fruits may help decrease inflammation and blood pressure.
  • Terpenes are found in cherries and citrus fruits may help slow cancer cell growth and fight viruses.
  • Lutein and zeaxanthin are found in dark, leafy greens are linked to eye health.
  • Isothiocyanates (sulforaphane) is found in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, and kale may help protect us against cancer and cardiovascular disease.
  • Sulfides and thiols are found in onions, garlic, leeks, olives, and scallions may help decrease "bad" LDL cholesterol.

In Conclusion...

Continue to eat balanced meals which include protein, fiber, fats and the right level of carbohydrates for you. Work with your doctor or healthcare professional to determine what works best with your body. Add different types of plant (phyto) foods to your balanced meals to ensure that you get a large swath of the available phytonutrients. Take a moment to find out more about the benefits of phytonutrients and don't forget to get outside and get some fresh air; take a walk.


Changes in USDA food composition data for 43 garden crops, 1950 to 1999:


Vegetables are a key part of Nutrition for Men's Health:

Fill up on phytochemicals - Harvard Health:

Characteristics and Health Benefits of Phytochemicals:

Cruciferous Vegetables and Cancer Prevention. (2012).