Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Nutrients or Anutrients

We all know that the body requires key nutrients (protein, carbs, essential fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals) to survive, and that diets high in processed foods lack sufficient levels of these nutrients to maintain a healthy state, but did you know that diets high in fresh (ideally organic) fruits and vegetables, natural whole grains, and legumes provide the body with compounds that are equally important.

These compounds are called anutrients, and although they, unlike nutrients, were thought to provide little or no real nutritional value, research is revealing that anutrients offer profound health benefits. And unlike nutrients, where processed foods can be fortified with, anutrients can only be obtained through a diet of fresh fruits, vegetables, natural whole grains and legumes.

So what exactly are anutrients?

Some examples are fiber, enzymes, pigments (like carotene), flavonoids, chlorophyll, and other vitamin-like compounds. These compounds not only aid the body in storing and processing basic nutrients, they have shown to have amazing anticancer and anti-tumor properties.

A publishing in the medical journal Cancer Causes and Control went as far as saying that "cancer is viewed by many as a maladaptation to a reduced level of intake of compounds in foods (anutrients)... Cancer is the result of a deficiency of plant foods in the diet. Concluding with the distressing fact that vegetables and fruit contain the anticarcinogenic cocktail to which we are adapted, but have abandoned at our own risk."

As if we needed another excuse to eat fresh fruits and vegetables, with "fresh" being the key word. The content of many of these compounds in cooked processed and commercially packaged foods is at or near zero.

"The Healing Power of Foods" by Michael T. Murray, N.D.

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