In this article we are going to look at how you can increase the phytonutrient levels in your diet.
Most people have heard of macronutrients and micronutrients, namely proteins, fats, carbs, vitamins and minerals. There is however another category of naturally occurring chemicals found predominantly in fruits, vegetables, herbs, spices, teas, nuts, seeds, legumes and whole grains that influence our body in ways you could not imagine possible.
Phytonutrients help to protect plants from damage from things in the environment such as bugs, fungi and the sun. A good example of this is how a grape is able to protect itself from the sun with these specific phytonutrients that act as anti-oxidants. It’s these exact anti-oxidants that have been studied and have been shown to provide benefit, not just to the plant but also to humans when we consume them.
Nature provides thousands of phytonutrients. If you have a diet that consists of the same foods day in and day out, it results in the same type of phytonutrient exposure. Below are some tips to help you increase your phytonutrient exposure:
- When shopping, make sure you are buying foods that cover the spectrum of the rainbow. Be proud of your trolley at the tills!
- At each meal try to aim for at least 50-75% of the plate to have colourful plant-based ingredients.
- Create a meal you would be proud to share on social media, maybe even tag us in to your culinary delight @fitforfilms.
- Aim to eat around 9-13 servings of plant-based foods per day. If that seems like a big jump, then build up gradually. A typical serving is around ½ a cup or a cupped handful.
- Find simple swaps. This is where you take more refined foods and create more phytonutrient rich options in their place. Examples include:
- Making or buying spaghetti made from butternut squash or Courgette. You can either replace or 50/50 mix it in with your normal choice.
- Instead of mashing just white potato, why not have white, purple and sweet mashed together!
- Make use of frozen fruits and veggies. Not only can these be cheaper, they can also be fresher if frozen soon after picking. A collection of colourful frozen fruits and veggies makes creating a meal much easier than always relying on having fresh ingredients to hand.
Taking your phytonutrient intake to the next level
Here at Fit For Films we understand the importance and power of a phytonutrient rich diet. We also appreciate the need for convenience, using the highest quality ingredients for the maximum benefit.
For the above reason I have been able to formulate a plant-based protein powder packed with phytonutrients which will be launched early 2019 as part of our supplement range.
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- Institute For Functional Medicine Phytonutrient Spectrum Comprehensive Guide (2015)