Tag Archives: Organic Greens and Reds by Douglas Laboratories

Is Fruit Important to a Healthy Diet?

FruitDietJacquie Eubanks RN BSN

As no single fruit or vegetable provides all of the nutrients necessary to support health, daily consumption of a variety of fruits and vegetables is universally promoted to be part of a healthy diet. Often lumped together as a food group, fruits and vegetables provide fiber and a wide array of nourishing health promoting compounds vital for health maintenance and overall healthy function. On their own, fruits are considered to be particularly nutrient dense foods. High in soluble fiber and low in calories and sodium, fruits also provide simple sugars, vitamins and minerals, along with beneficial plant sterols, polyphenols, flavonoids and other antioxidants. These compounds help to boost immune defense, as well as safeguard cellular health by protecting against oxidative stress.

Consuming a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables helps to ensure adequate intake of essential nutrients and helps prevent deficiencies. Those who regularly include fruit as part of a healthy eating plan generally have a reduced risk of developing chronic diseases, including cardiovascular diseases, stroke, type 2 diabetes, age-related macular degeneration and certain cancers. The USDA recommends consuming at least two cups or two pieces of fruit daily. The healthiest choices are fresh or frozen fruits without added sweeteners or sauces. Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), fruits provide fiber that can assist weight management and digestive health, as well as support healthy cholesterol levels. To receive the benefits of diverse phytochemicals, choose from a wide variety of colorful fruits.

Orange: Beta-carotenes found in orange fruits are converted by the body into vitamin A, a nutrient particularly important for healthy vision, as well as immune, skin and bone health. Oranges, for example, contain flavonoids such as hesperidin, which supports healthy cholesterol and arterial function. Orange fruits contain antioxidants and vitamin C, which promote immune and cellular health, as well as D-limonene, a compound that may help prevent certain cancers including lung, breast and skin cancers.

Red: Particularly nutritious red fruits contain components such as lycopene, ellagic acid, hesperidin, quercetin, fiber and vitamins A and C. Benefits of consuming red fruits like cherries, tomatoes, apples, and berries include support for proper blood pressure and cholesterol levels, gastrointestinal health and collagen formation in arthritic joints. Red fruits also provide protection against heart disease, oxidative stress and inflammatory conditions.

Yellow: Those looking to support healthy bones, skin, and teeth, as well as heart, digestive and immune health, should look to packing their diet with yellow fruits. These sunny colored fruits are teeming with carotenoids, antioxidants and vitamin C. Heart healthy yellow fruits support heathy cholesterol and blood pressure levels, as well as proper pH balance.

Blue/Purple: Richly hued blue and purple fruits provide anthocyanins that support healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels, ramp up free radical defenses and soothe inflammation. Fruits such as blueberries, plums, grapes and elderberries act as anti-carcinogens to limit the activity of cancer cells, while boosting immune activity and improving calcium and mineral absorption.

Green: Green fruits, such as apples and melons, support retinal health and vision, fight harmful free radicals, boost immune activity, normalize digestion, and help lower blood pressure and LDL cholesterol levels.

White: White fruits such as pears, bananas and stone fruits provide beta-glucans and lignans, as well as a chemical known as EGCG, that has been shown to reduce colon and breast cancer risk. Beta-glucans boost immune health and encourage the formation of T cells, lymphocytes that defend the body against illness and harmful infection-causing invaders.

As a result of the disease-supportive typical American diet filled with too many processed foods, sugars, refined grains and unhealthy fats, the need for fruit consumption has increased. Fortunately, there’s more than one way to incorporate fruit into the diet. Frozen fruits are an excellent alternative when certain fruits are unavailable or out of season. Healthy powdered fruits are convenient for smoothies or when traveling. Choose a variety of brightly colored fresh fruits when in season. Fresh fruits may also be frozen or preserved at home to be enjoyed at a later date.

Seasonal fruits purchased locally, when possible, are rich sources of beta-carotenes, polyphenols and anthocyanidins. To get the full fiber benefit, consume the entire fruit as well as the peel and membrane. To enjoy the true flavor and receive the maximum nutritional benefits, make whole fresh or frozen fruit a regular part of your daily diet. Many think of fruits as nature’s gift to mankind. Packed with life-enhancing and health supportive components, fruits can be enjoyed not only for nutrition but for the sheer joy of their natural sweetness and deliciousness!

Professional Supplement Center offers these and other high quality health-supportive nutrients:

Power Greens BerryPower Greens® Berry by NuMedica: This easy mixing, energizing phytonutrient powdered formula offers certified organic, whole food plant extracts in support of powerful antioxidant protection and healthy immune function. Formula includes individual blends of fiber, digestive ingredients, antioxidants and vegetables as well as a fruit blend containing natural vitamins, minerals, enzymes and phytonutrients. Wheat, dairy, egg, shellfish, tree nut, peanut and artificial ingredient free, vegetarian formulation. Also available in Mint, Expresso and Chocolate flavors.

Ultra Greens pHUltra Greens pH by Nutra BioGenesis®: This powdered superfood greens formula provides phytonutrients, antioxidants and broad spectrum supportive enzymes for healthy digestion, circulation, pH balance and optimal nutritional status. Gluten free.

Organic Greens Reds...Organic Greens and Reds by Douglas Laboratories®: This concentrated, all natural phytonutrient powdered blend is formulated with organic grasses, fruits, vegetables and botanicals to provide nutritional support for digestive and overall health. Soy free, vegan formulation.

PaleoRedsPaleoReds® by Designs for Health®: This formula provides all the nutritional goodness of high quality, antioxidant-rich red/purple fruits, vegetables, phytonutrients and digestive enzymes in support of  healthy aging and common chronic disease risk reduction. Contains more than 70 percent certified organic ingredients. Natural strawberry flavored.

References:
Increasing fruit and vegetable consumption to reduce the risk of noncommunicable diseases. https://www.who.int/elena/titles/fruit_vegetables_ncds/en/
Why 5 A Day? https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/why-5-a-day/
Why is it important to eat fruit? https://www.choosemyplate.gov/fruits-nutrients-health
Health Benefits of Fruits and Vegetables. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3649719/
Paradoxical Effects of Fruit on Obesity. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5084020/
Using Color as a Guide to a Better Diet: 9 Health Benefits of Red Fruits and Vegetables. https://www.ahealthiermichigan.org/2011/03/22/using-color-as-a-guide-to-a-better-diet-9-health-benefits-of-red-fruits-and-vegetables/
Color Chart of Healthy Fruits and Vegetables. https://www.disabled-world.com/fitness/nutrition/fruits-veggies/colored.php

 

Have You Had Your Phytochemicals Today?

PhytochemicalsSusan Brown Health and Wellness Editor

If you are regularly consuming a diet of whole unprocessed foods, such as grains, beans, fruits, and vegetables, you are eating foods that contain essential vitamins, minerals and fiber. These foods also provide an abundance of health promoting, naturally occurring phytochemicals. Although phytochemicals are considered non-essential or non-nutritive, don’t let that distinction fool you. While these bioactive compounds may not be considered life sustaining, they are known to powerfully support health through their disease protective or disease preventive qualities. These naturally synthesized phytochemicals perform important tasks in plant metabolism such as growth regulation. They also provide plants with defensive strategies in response to environmental stressors such as harsh weather conditions, ultraviolet radiation, or insect infestation.

Much of early medicine relied on plants and herbs for healing, a practice still supported by modern science. It’s widely accepted that plant-based foods contain complex mixtures of beneficial synergistic compounds that are largely responsible for protective health benefits well beyond the plants’ nutritive value. The recommended dietary guidelines to include multiple daily servings of vegetables and fruits is based on population studies that suggest colorful plant foods offer a degree of protection against cancer, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, neurodegeneration, inflammatory conditions, and loss of functional abilities.

Eating a variety of these colorful foods helps to ensure that you are receiving an assortment of nutrients, as well as the beneficial phytochemicals responsible for the beautiful colors. Thousands of phytochemicals have been identified and there are likely many more that have yet to be discovered. It is largely accepted that the health effects attributed to the consumption of phytochemicals are primarily due to the synergistic actions of the bioactive dietary components, as well as the micronutrients.

In general, when selecting colorful foods, the darker the color, the higher the phytochemical concentration. Many phytochemicals have antioxidant effects that help protect cells from oxidative damage and reduce the risks of developing certain types of cancer. Others have antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, antimicrobial, anti-adhesion, anti-aging and neuroprotective properties. Increasing the consumption and the variety of fruits, vegetables and whole grains is a practical strategy for optimizing health and reducing the risk of chronic diseases.

Green foods are rich in lutein which works synergistically with zeaxanthin to support eye health and reduce cataract and macular degeneration risks. Phytochemicals found in green foods boost the immune system, help detoxify the body, support energy and vitality and provide indoles, naturally occurring chemicals that help protect against some types of cancer.

Blue, purple and red foods produce many different phytochemicals that include anthocyanins, lutein, zeaxanthin, resveratrol, and flavonoids. These help to fight inflammation, support eye health, boost immunity, limit cancer activity and help lower LDL cholesterol. Anthocyanins act as powerful antioxidants, and may support healthy blood pressure, help prevent unnatural clot formations, lower cancer risk and support overall healthy aging. Naturally occurring in fruit, vegetables, wine, tea and chocolate, flavonoids are effective free radical scavengers and heavy metal chelators. Flavonoids support cardiovascular and urinary tract health, healthy blood pressure, and healthy blood glucose levels.

Red foods provide lycopene and anthocyanins known for their antioxidant, anti-cancer, and anti-inflammatory properties. These may help protect against atherosclerosis and inhibit tumor growth, while providing support for cardiac health and overall healthy function.

Yellow and orange foods provide carotenoids that are integral for immune, skin and bone health. Carotenoid-rich foods may help reduce the risks of heart disease and lung, esophageal and stomach cancers.

While colorless, white foods contain an abundance of phytochemicals, as well as powerful nutrients that support immune health, reduce cancer and heart disease risk, and lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels.

Professional Supplement Center carries many high quality products to support good nutrition and overall health and wellness:

Green Vibrance 15...Green Vibrance by Vibrant Health®: This clinically formulated, award winning plant-based superfood is formulated to provide nutrients for peak cellular function in support of increased energy, improved circulation and strengthened digestive and immune health. This easily absorbed, nutrient dense whole foods concentrate also provides fiber, adaptogens, enzymes, prebiotics, and 12 dairy free strains of probiotic cultures. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation.

Vitamineral Green™Vitamineral Green™ by Health Force SuperFoods™: This foundational broad-spectrum nutritionally dense superfood complex features the best of land and sea micronutrients and mineral rich organic or wildcrafted grasses, herbs, algae, and sea vegetables, as well as digestive enzymes and probiotics. Laboratory tested for botanical identity, heavy metals, microbes and pesticides. Gluten free, vegan formulation.

Natural Greens...Natural Greens Formula™ Vegetable and Fruit Superfood by BioPharma Scientific: This complete formula provides proprietary blends of phytonutrients, including fruits, vegetables, and herbal extracts along with dietary enzymes and fiber. Natural Greens supports healthy immunity, exergy production, exercise recovery, detoxification and regularity. Non-GMO vegan formulation.

Super Greens BerrySuper Greens Berry by Neurobiologix: This great tasting, energizing phytonutrient blend provides certified organic whole food plant extracts in support of digestion, detoxification, immunity, repair, recovery, revitalization and longevity. This popular professional formula includes high ORAC value antioxidant vegetables, fruits, herbs and digestive enzymes. Dairy, wheat and gluten free formulation.

Organic Greens Reds...Organic Greens and Reds by Douglas Laboratories®: This concentrated all-natural blend of organic grasses, fruits, vegetables, fiber and enzymes provides overall health support with a wide assortment of colorful whole foods to help meet the daily fruit and vegetable dietary recommendations. Gluten free, Non-GMO Vegetarian formulation.

References:
Characteristics and Health Benefits of Phytochemicals. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27160996
Phytochemical. https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/agricultural-and-biological-sciences/phytochemical
Health benefits of fruit and vegetables. http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/78/3/517S.full
Phytochemicals’ Role in Good Health. http://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/090313p70.shtml
Phytochemicals. http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/dietary-factors/phytochemicals
Eating the Rainbow. https://foodrevolution.org/blog/eating-the-rainbow-health-benefits/
Phytochemicals. http://www.phytochemicals.info/
Color Me Healthy. http://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/110308p34.shtml