If you answered “No,” then you are among the millions of Americans who are not getting the vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients they need to combat aging from the sun’s harmful rays and maintain good health. In fact, The Center for Disease Control states that fewer than 15% of adults consume the necessary amounts of fruits and vegetables.
The combination of not eating enough fruits and vegetables, along with the increased amount of sugar and simple carbohydrate consumption, is being linked to the increase in obesity, diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease. While many people supplement their diets with vitamins, they are still missing important benefits that come from phytonutrients, which provides anti-aging and anti-inflammatory protection.
Phytonutrients are plant chemicals that give fruits and vegetables their color while protecting them from the sun. In most cases, the darker the fruit or vegetable the larger the concentration of these phytonutrients. When we consume these fruits and vegetables their nutrients pass along benefits to us. If you don’t consume enough of these food groups each day, then you are not feeding your body with the nutrients necessary to protect itself from the development of heart disease, stroke, and other chronic degenerative diseases. Phytonutrients are also being linked to playing a role in cancer prevention by causing cancer cells to die, repairing DNA damage caused by smoking and other toxic exposures, and by detoxifying carcinogens through the enzyme system.
While the FDA has not recognized phytonutrient supplements as essential for humans, instead they consistently recommend adults consume 5 servings of vegetables and 4 servings of fruits daily. Since reporting shows the majority of Americans are not meeting these recommendations, one can only deduct that finding another way of supplementing this deficiency is necessary.
The best way of ensuring proper health is to eat a wide range of colored fruits and vegetables. The 5 main color groups are: Blue/Purple, Red/Pink, Orange/Yellow, Dark Green, and Brown/White. If you can’t fit in the daily recommended servings, then the next step is to consider taking a phytonutrient supplement, such as VitaMedica’s Phyto-5.