We are experiencing pandemic health issues, not only in developing countries, but notably in some of the wealthiest countries in the world. It is safe to say much of it is related to our poor diets. Even in areas where food is plentiful, people are faced with options that are less than ideal, relying heavily on carbohydrates.
There is much we still have to learn about the human body. One thing we do know is vitamins will never compare with real, whole food ingredients. And that our elders were right when they told us to, “Eat your fruits and vegetables!” Diets lacking in phytonutrients have a long lasting impact on our health. What’s more, our bodies cannot make-up for the benefits these vital nutrients provide in a matter of weeks or even months. Our bodies require consistent healthy eating habits over a period of years to regain and maintain optimal health.
Plants produce chemicals called phytonutrients as a survival mechanism, naturally protecting themselves from the life-threatening issues of fungus, germs, plant-eating bugs, and even in some cases damaging UV rays.
Phytonutrient-dense foods are often colorful. For example, fruits like berries and dark, leafy greens vegetables. Highly aromatic herbs like in teas and spices also contain high concentrations of phytonutrients. However not all phytonutrient-rich foods are colorful. Nuts, legumes, onions and garlic for instance provide excellent sources of phytonutrients.
The USDA considers plant-heavy diets a natural way to insure heart health and aid in the reduction of carcinogens. Though phytonutrients are not essential on a daily basis the way proteins, vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates and fats are, they play an important role. We need these nutrients to bolster our immune systems and assist our bodies in disease prevention. In addition, phytonutrients are known to enhance cellular communication and repair DNA.
It is important to note there have not been enough full-scale clinical trials for scientists to determine all the specifics of how phytonutrients work in the body. That said, there is clear evidence when researching cultures with plant-based diets, that ingesting phytonutrients with regularity prolongs life. When measured by a standard of longevity, people that primarily eat plants top the chart for living long and healthy lives.
Different Classes of Phytonutrients
Phytonutrients can be divided into different classes, depending on their chemical make-up:
There are dozens of groups within these classes, each with hundreds of phytonutrients.
Different Groups of Phytonutrients
According to scientists there are more than 25,000 chemical groupings. Here are the six main groups:
Flavinoids may help reduce asthma, coronary heart disease, and certain cancers
Examples of foods containing Flavinoids include: Apples, Berries, Kale and Onions
Glucosamates may help curb cancerous growth
Examples of foods containing Glucosamates include: Kale, Broccoli and Cabbage
Ellagic Acid may slow cancer growth by assisting the liver to neutralize cancer-causing chemicals
Examples of foods containing Ellagic Acid include: Strawberries and Pomegranates
Resveratrol may help prolong life, address certain cancers and maintain heart health
Examples of foods containing Resveratrol include: Grapes, purple Grape Juice and Wine
Phytoestrogens can be converted into estrogen-like chemicals and may lower risk of bone loss
Examples of foods containing Phytoestrogens include: Flax seeds and sunflower seeds
Carotenoids provide much of the color found in fruits and vegetables and act as antioxidants that attack free radicals in the body. There are several types of Carotenoids that have additional health benefits:
Lutein and Zeaxanthin address macular degeneration, cataracts and other eye issues
Examples of foods containing Lutein and Zeaxanthin include: Spinach, Kale and Collards
Lycopene is linked to a lower rate of Prostate Cancer
Examples of foods containing Lycopene include: Pink Grapefruit, Watermelon and Tomatoes
Alpha and Beta-carotenes convert to Vitamin C strengthening the immune system and eyesight
Examples of foods containing Beta-carotenes include: Carrots and Pumpkins
(these also contains Beta-cryptoxanthin, as do Sweet Red Peppers)
Getting Phytonutrients Daily
Even when committed to making good choices we are challenged in todays world. Our food chain has been degraded. We are eating produce grown in nutritionally deficient soils, subjected to toxins from our air and water and laden with cancer causing pesticides.
We all need to take action to insure we are receiving a balance of phytonutrients but this can be easier said then done. Busy lives, fast-food restaurants, temptations all around… what can we do?
SU is committed to providing solutions for people who wish to take charge of their health naturally. Decades of research, undertaken by the SU team, has resulted in the discovery of organic, whole food products formulated and produced in pharmaceutical grade facilities. Each company uses pure ingredients with vetted manufacturing practices that insure safe delivery of the nutrients our bodies needs on a daily basis. This level of quality is like having your own Nutritional Insurance Policy. We insure our homes, our cars, even our jewelry. Why not insure the asset we will have longest? Whether we supplement our diets with high-end products or vow to eat foods rich in phytonutrients, it’s always the right time to begin caring for our most valuable asset of all… our bodies.
Moringa Oleifera – Often Called the Miracle Tree – Can Save Lives
Moringa Oleifera is an Indian tree that has been praised for its health benefits in over 80 cultures around the world. This superfood has been widely praised. Evidence of its use as a remedy can be traced back to Rome and Egypt and has been used extensively as an Aruyvedic medicine for thousands of years. According to the National Institutes of Health, Moringa oleifera is the most nutrient-dense botanical yet discovered. It is being used to combat malnutrition and iron deficiencies worldwide.
So far, scientists have only uncovered a fraction of the many reputed health benefits, yet one thing is clear, this botanical is a powerhouse of healthy antioxidants, proteins and bioactive plant compounds. It was named Super Food of the Year in 2018.
6 health benefits of Moringa oleifera supported by scientific research.
1. Moringa oleifera Is Very Nutritious
Moringa oleifera is one of the fastest growing trees found, reaching up to 36” tall in three years. Native to North India, it goes by a variety of names, such as drumstick tree, horseradish tree or ben oil tree. In fact, Moringa grows around the world, ten degrees plus or minus the Equator, however it is the oleifera strain that is by far the most potent containing 90 + nutrients, 18 Amino Acids – including the nine our bodies do not produce – all three Omega oils in vast quantity and three dozen, naturally occurring anti-inflammatories.
Almost all parts of the tree can be eaten or used in traditional herbal medicines. The diets of people in developing nations often lack vitamins, minerals and protein. In these countries, Moringa oleifera can be an important source of many essential nutrients.
Moringa contains many healthful compounds such as:
vitamin B1 (thiamine)
B3 (niacin), B-6
folate and ascorbic acid (vitamin C)
It is also extremely low in fats and contains no harmful cholesterol.
2. Moringa Oleifera Is Rich in Antioxidants
Antioxidants are compounds that act against free radicals in your body. High levels of free radicals may cause oxidative stress associated with chronic diseases like heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Several antioxidant plant compounds have been found in the leaves of Moringa Oleifera that can assist in creating homeostasis in the body.
In fact, there are 46 antioxidants including:
Quercetin: This powerful antioxidant may help lower blood pressure.
Chlorogenic acid: Also found in high amounts in coffee, chlorogenic acid may help moderate blood sugar levels after meals.
One study in women found that taking 1.5 teaspoons (7 grams) of moringa leaf powder every day for three months significantly increased blood antioxidant levels and reduced fasting blood sugar levels by 13.5%, on average.
3. Moringa May Lower Blood Sugar Levels
High blood sugar can be a serious health problem. In fact, it’s the main characteristic of diabetes. Over time, high blood sugar levels raise the risk of many serious health problems, including heart disease. For this reason, it’s important to keep your blood sugar within healthy limits. Interestingly, several studies have shown that Moringa Oleifera may help lower blood sugar levels.
4. Moringa Oleifera May Reduce Inflammation
Inflammation is the body’s natural response to infection or injury. It’s an essential protective mechanism but may become a major health issue if it continues over a long period of time. In fact, sustained inflammation is linked to many chronic health problems, including heart disease and cancer.
Most whole fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices have anti-inflammatory properties. However, the degree to which they can help depends on the types and amounts of anti-inflammatory compounds they contain. Moringa Oleifera is unique because it has a very high content of isothiocyanates. Scientists believe that isothiocyanates may inhibit the development of cancer and could protect us from damaging cell distortions.
5. Moringa Can Lower Cholesterol
Having high cholesterol has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease. Moringa Oleifera has been found to improve insulin resistance, reduce inflammation and lower plasma lipids. Studies have shown that Moringa Oleifera may have similar cholesterol-lowering effects.
6. Moringa Oleifera May Protect Against Arsenic Toxicity
Arsenic contamination of food and water is a problem in many parts of the world. Certain types of rice may contain particularly high levels. Long-term exposure to high levels of arsenic may lead to health problems over time. For instance, studies have linked long-term exposure to an increased risk of cancer and heart disease. Interestingly, several early studies have shown that the leaves and seeds of Moringa Oleifera may protect against some of the harsh effects of arsenic toxicity.
The Bottom Line
Moringa Oleifera is an Indian tree that has been used in traditional medicine for thousands of years. To date, studies show that Moringa oleifera may lead to meaningful reductions in blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol. It also has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that are very beneficial and additionally can protect against arsenic toxicity.
Moringa leaves are also highly nutritious and should be beneficial for people who are lacking in essential nutrients.
Some consider it to be the tree of life as its seeds purify water, it holds its own water, it replenishes the soil it grows in and is capable of reversing malnutrition in children in 21 days or less. The true test? Put it in your body and see what it does for you!