Vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients-Where to find them?

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While phytonutrients are available in supplement form it is advised to consume them as a nutrient-rich food

Phytonutrients and vitamin and mineral supplementation in popular knowledge are known to give our body risen antioxidant capacity. Moreover, with vitamins and minerals, plants contain a large range of phytonutrients that are closely associated with preventing chronic ailments and diseases in the human body.


Colourful fruits and vegetables, food grains, whole grains, tea, nuts, legumes and many condiments and spices are considered rich in phytonutrients. Though they are not considered nutrients that are essential for life such as vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.


Phytonutrients have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties but are also known for other characteristics, namely, carotenoids. It is a fat-soluble pigment that gives colour to plant parts such as ripe tomatoes or autumn leaves. As you can imagine, these type of phytonutrients is beneficial of good eyesight and immunity. Two out of the six common carotenoids -lutein and zeaxanthin, are found in the retina. Research says that it helps to lessen the risk of macular degeneration by 43 per cent.


Phytochemicals such as flavonoid, protect against cancer and cardiovascular diseases because it contributes toward cell communication. It could trigger decreased inflammation, lower risk of tumours spreading and detoxification. Similarly, Glucosinolates also help prevent cancer. They are predominantly found in vegetables such as broccoli, bok choi, cauliflower and Brussel sprouts. Such vegetables are also referred to as Cruciferous vegetables as they help expel toxins from the body.


While phytonutrients are available in supplement form it is advised to consume them as nutrient-rich food. Supplements do not provide the necessary nutrients to sustain. If consumed in high dosage, the supplement can become toxic for the body.


On the other hand, minerals are essential for the composition of body fluids such as blood, and the formation of tissue, bone, teeth, muscles and nerve systems. It plays a significant role in maintaining a healthy nerve system, muscle tone and strong cardiovascular health. 


Minerals and vitamins operate as coenzymes, helping the body perform biochemical functions such as energy production, growth, healing and the use of vitamins and nutrients. Our body needs to have a proper balance of its chemicals. The balance depends on the levels of minerals and vitamins and the ratio of certain minerals to one another. It means that if one mineral is out of balance it affects all other mineral levels. If this imbalance is not corrected it will cause a chain reaction of imbalances that lead to diseases and ailments. 


In conclusion, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients are important factors that help us sustain life. They play a significant role in the way we function as human beings and provide the necessary support to our organs and bodily functions. Phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals are available in supplement form but it is best to consume them as foods. It provides a rich supply to our body that may not be possible via supplements. 


It is essential to consult a professional dietician or doctor before taking any such supplements. Your body is unique and may or may not accept supplements, instead, it may prove toxic for your body and cause you more harm.


Kamayani Naresh, Health Expert and Founder, Zyropathy

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