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What are Phytonutrients

author avatar Dr. Eric Berg 08/31/2023

Our bodies are constantly under attack by toxins in our environment. For our liver to be able to do this effectively, we need to do our best to stay away from toxins and give it the nutrients it needs. The phytonutrients in cruciferous vegetables help our liver function efficiently.

Vegetables in the cruciferous family include bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and kale. The most nutrition is found in the sprouts of these vegetables. They have many important nutrients like vitamin A. Sprouts rejuvenate the body and help to keep the immune system healthy.

The way we prepare these vegetables can affect their nutritional value. It’s best to either eat them raw or only lightly steam them, but never microwave them. The more refined or processed something is, the less nutritional value it has. This is because air oxidizes them, removing the vitamins.

Different sprouts have different flavors. Some of them are spicy like broccoli. Onions and garlic can be used in place of the adult plant to flavor food.

Some sprouts are sweet or nutty and go well in salads, sandwiches, and wraps. These include alfalfa and snow pea. Corn sprouts are good substitutes for corn because it has less sugar than the adult version.

Wheat sprouts are good for juicing. When allowed to sprout, they will become wheat grass. Clipped and juiced, they make a very nutritional drink.

Toxins wreak havoc on the bodies hormonal processes, but the sprouts of cruciferous vegetables can help stop the damage. A group of poisons that the liver flushes out of our bodies is called endocrine disruptors. They block our bodies’ natural ability to carry out important hormonal processes.

Although not a cruciferous vegetable pomegranates are a rich source of phytonutrients, particularly ellagitannins. Ellagitannins are a type of phytonutrient that is converted into ellagic acid in the body. Ellagic acid is thought to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It may also help to reduce the risk of cancer by interfering with the growth of cancer cells.

Giving the liver necessary nutrients helps it effectively rid our bodies of these poisons. Sprouts also have phyoestrogens. These help menopausal women by balancing out the estrogen levels in their system.

You should eat 3 – 5 servings of cruciferous vegetables a week. More is even better.

Be sure to pick some up next time you are at the store. Start enjoying good health today!


Understand phytonutrients and see more Nutrition advice from Dr. Berg Video Blog.

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