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Phytonutrients are substances widely distributed in the plant world, where, in addition to giving fruits and vegetables that intense color, they contribute to their particular flavor and promote their development. On the other hand, just as there are different types of phytonutrients, there are also different health benefits depending on each of them.
In the case of the green color, its main benefits are related to the lungs, the circulatory system and vision, although they also exert a beneficial effect on liver function and strengthen defenses in general. This group includes, for example, vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage and Brussels sprouts, lettuce, peas, chard, spinach, green beans and wild asparagus, and also fruits such as grapes, apples, kiwi or avocado.
Speaking of specific phytonutrients, the isothiocyanate in broccoli and cabbage is associated with favorable cell growth, which is very interesting during pregnancy as numerous cells are establishing and differentiating to form the tissues of the fetus. In addition, broccoli has also stood out as a protector of bones and teeth, as always, interesting in times of growth such as childhood and adolescence.
Lutein, an antioxidant present in many of these vegetables, deserves special mention. highlighting broccoli, spinach, lettuce or kiwi. Lutein is part of an eye tissue called the macula lutea. This tissue is of vital importance for vision, since one of its functions is to provide information to the brain about what the eye sees. It is also responsible for central vision, which allows us to do activities that require from a wide field of vision to fine and detailed vision. The consumption of foods rich in lutein prevents, in the long run, the degeneration of this tissue, being very interesting especially in the school stage, favoring the ocular concentration in tasks such as reading.
Zeaxanthin is another carotenoid that is part of the macula lutea. Collaborate with lutein in sight protection, protecting against the ultraviolet rays of the sun and against eye cataracts. It is found in considerable quantities in asparagus and kiwi.
Isoflavones, well known to be present in soybeans and, in lesser amounts, in other legumes, are powerful antioxidants of great interest in the menopausal stage, since, according to studies carried out, they help make symptoms more bearable. However, the benefits of these substances are vast and numerous. For example, they favor the protection of bones, improving bone health, so important both during growth or pregnancy, and later, as a preventive of osteoporosis. They also protect against cardiovascular diseases, reducing the risk of arteriosclerosis, and exerting, at the same time, positive effects on cholesterol regulation. They also appear to have a beneficial effect on blood glucose levels, something of special interest in diabetics. Likewise, isoflavones are related to an increase in protection against various types of cancer, such as breast and uterine cancer, or prostate cancer.
It is clear that filling the dish with color not only makes it more attractive, especially for the little ones, who are attracted by the bright and varied colors, but also much healthier thanks to the extra benefits that phytonutrients provide.
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