We all know the old saying “An apple a day, keeps the doctor away”. It is not a secret that vegetables and fruits are good for your health. American phytonutrient report said that “Almost eight in 10 individuals are missing out on the health benefits of a diet rich in colorful fruits and vegetables, which leads to a phytonutrient gap with potential health consequences”. Americans generally are known to have poor diet in terms of vegetables and fruits, but this report stress the significance of “color of fruits and vegetables” that should be eaten in order to reap the health benefits. Let us take look at main highlights of the phytonutrient report:
What are phytonutrients and what colors were investigated?
As the name suggests, phytonutrients are the nutrients that you get from fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables were mainly categorized into five colors, namely, green, red, white, blue/ purple and yellow/ orange.
It is believed that each color is associated with a specific compound that gives its characteristics health benefits. I have written before about lycopene that generally present in red colored fruits and vegetables. There may be many compounds associated with each of the investigated color, but, only selected phytonutrients were analyzed within each color category of America’s Phytonutrient Report included EGCG, isothiocyanate, lutein/zeaxanthin and isoflavones for green, lycopene and ellagic acid for red, allicin and quercetin for white, anthocyanidins and resveratrol for purple/blue, and alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, hesperitin and beta-cryptoxanthin for yellow/orange.
Who were main investigators of the report?
National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES) and USDA data was used by advocated of a phyconutrient brand NUTRILITE®, which is world’s leading brand name of vitamin, mineral and dietary supplements.
How does the phytonutrient color chart look like for Americans?
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The graph depicts that Americans are most deficient in blue/ purple color fruits and vegetables. I was making a mental list of blue/ purple color fruits and vegetables and all I could think of was grapes, blue berries, purple color cabbage. I think dearth of knowledge or existence of veggies in blue/ purple color may be another factor of its highest deficiency.
How can I check my phytonutrient color level?
You can check your phytonutrient color level at www.nutrilite.com/color. This colorful new NUTRILITE Phytonutrient Spectrum brings to life the colors, health benefits and fruits and vegetables associated with phytonutrients. There they can also find Your Daily Phytonutrient Snapshot, which helps determine by color the fruits and vegetables of which they need to eat more to help close their individual phytonutrient gap.
How can I fill my Phytonutrient gap?
There are thousands of phytonutrients gaining attention in the nutrition world, according to Amy Hendel, a registered physician assistant and health/wellness expert working with the NUTRILITE brand. “Phytonutrients offer a wide range of potential health benefits from promoting eye, bone and heart health to supporting immune and brain function,” she said. Hendel suggests aiming for two fruits and/or vegetables from each of the five color categories on the Phytonutrient Spectrum per day. I would like to share this video, which suggests ways to increase fruits in your diet:
Many phytonutrients are powerful antioxidants. America’s Phytonutrient Report follows a recent report released by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) that showed no U.S. state meets national objectives for fruit and vegetable consumption. The report noted that “a diet high in fruits and vegetables is important for optimal child growth, maintaining a healthy weight and prevention of chronic diseases. So, complete your daily requirement of phytonutrients; as said by Hendel “A daily dose of color could result in positive health benefits”.