Today the science behind the health benefits of vegetables is growing rapidly. Researchers have discovered that in addition to nutrients, vitamins and minerals, vegetables contain a various group of natural biologically active plant substances, so-called phytonutrients or phytochemicals, which plants produce to protect themselves against stress. Health experts believe these natural substances are also beneficial for human health.
Phytochemicals are natural bioactive compounds produced by plants that work with nutrients and dietary fiber to protect against disease. Currently, the term is being used only for those plant chemicals that may have health-related effects but are not considered essential nutrients (proteins, carbohydrates, fats, minerals, and vitamins).
Research suggests that phytochemicals, found in fruits, vegetables and nuts, may help slow the aging process and reduce the risk of many diseases, including cancer, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, cataracts, osteoporosis, and urinary tract infections.
Why Fruits and Vegetables are Better Than Supplements
In contrast, supplements or pills contain large doses of only one or two phytochemicals. These isolated supplements have not proven to be effective or even safe.
You can prevent many disorders and delay aging by just following the simple guide line: every time you eat, fruits and vegetables should be half of what you eat.
Scientists are learning more about the role that diet plays in disease prevention, the interactions among foods and their elements, such as fiber, nutrients, and phytonutrients that strengthen their health-promoting abilities and continue to discover other benefits as well, which makes vegetable and fruit research a very active and exciting field.