What Are Micronutrients & Phytochemicals? And How Do They Affect My Health?

 

We often hear of protein, carbohydrates, and fats, which are classified as macronutrients. What we don't hear enough about are micronutrients. 

Micronutrients are one of the major groups of nutrients your body needs. They include vitamins and minerals. Vitamins are necessary for energy production, immune function, blood clotting and other functions.

Phytochemicals are an array of compounds that plants produce to protect themselves. They help protect the sprouts of fruits, vegetables, beans, grains and other plants from environmental factors.

Some examples include:

  • Anthocyanins, which give grapes, blueberries, cranberries, and raspberries their dark color, have been shown to have anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor properties.

  • Carotenoids, which give carrots, yams, cantaloupe, squash, and apricots their orange color, may help reduce the risk of cancer.

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