March 20, 2009 by  
Filed under Weight Loss

Weight Loss – The Basics on Phytonutrients

Meet phytonutrients, the latest hot item in the field of healthy weight loss. Phytochemicals are a compound class that can be found in the highly colored skins of certain vegetables and fruits. The nutritional aspects of phytonutrients are still being researched and so far, there are no FDA guidelines on their healthy weight loss benefits.

However, there are some studies that support the healthy weight loss benefits of these compounds. And seeing as the foods that contain them are clearly full of good nutrition, they are expertly recommended. The main focus that needs to be decided is the degree in which these compounds battle specific diseases, like colon cancer, and how much they aid the immune system in a weight loss program.

Phytochemicals are present in practically any strongly colored vegetable or fruit. Tomatoes are rich in lycopene. While there is no definite result in researches so far, many studies have already shown the correlation of its consumption with its reduction of prostate cancer in a weight loss plan.

Phytochemicals called carotenoids are present in spinach, which is recommended for healthy weight loss. By eating this piece of food, there may be a 46% lower risk of macular degeneration.

Phytochemicals called flavonoids are also beneficial in health weight loss because they serve as a rich source of antioxidants. Oxygen atoms that roam around carry enough energy to ruin cells, but with flavonoids combined, they become practically harmless. They also provide a 58% lower risk of heart diseased if consumed daily.

Flavonoids come from a larger class called polyphenols, which have similar properties and can be found in certain fruits, such as strawberries, apples, and blueberries, which should be added to any weight loss plan. Red wine also contains polyphenols.

The regular consumption of vegetables and fruits, in general, are beneficial in healthy weight loss, as they are known to lead in a decrease of the odds of ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke.

On average, humans receive 3.3 servings of vegetables per day. But vegetables that contain phytochemicals are only consumed in about 0.2 servings. 10% of the American population actually eats less than one serving of vegetables daily, which is not a recommended amount for healthy weight loss.

On that note, only 29% of the American population actually eats the recommended daily amount of fruits daily. Nearly 50% eat less than one serving daily. That is far too low for optimum healthy weight loss.

Scientific research on phytochemicals is still being continued today. But even without the added research, it is clear that specific vegetables and fruits should definitely be part of one’s weight loss plan for optimum healthy weight loss.