VITAMINS, MINERALS + PHYTOCHEMICALS!11. 24. 2021
The importance of vitamins and minerals in the diet is well known and well defined by scientists, but research and information on phytochemicals have grown in the last 50 years. Rachel’s offers a large variety of fruits and vegetables rich in vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals. Rachel’s determination to provide a wide selection of fresh, organic, high-quality ingredients sets them apart in the food industry. Each food offers a different nutrient profile, so it is essential to select a variety of foods to get various health benefits. Rachel’s offerings make it easy to achieve a combination of these healthy foods, and I’m going to share a few of my favorites.
Starting with a crowd favorite, tomatoes have lots of antioxidants, vitamins, and anti-inflammatory agents that prevent heart disease and cancer. Specifically, tomatoes contain phenolic compounds, carotenoids (lycopene), and beta carotene (precursor of vitamins A) vitamin C.
Onions are a part of the Allium plant family. Research suggests that they may be beneficial for lowering cholesterol and blood pressure and have cancer prevention properties. The antioxidant in onions is quercetin which is a potent anti-inflammatory.
Like onions, garlic is part of the Allium family containing flavonoids, alkaloids, saponins, tannins, and cardiac glycosides. Garlic is an excellent source of natural antioxidants. Many studies have shown a significant reduction in risk of developing chronic diseases such as cardiovascular, cancer, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure associated with car garlic consumption. Garlic also has antibacterial, anti-fungal, and antioxidant properties. Rachel’s garlic sauce and Greek dressing contain garlic which is good for you and also delicious.
Olives are tiny fruit from which olive oil is made. Like olive oil, olives are a good source of monounsaturated fat. Olives also contain the nutrients iron, vitamin E, and polyphenols. The polyphenolic compounds in olives have antioxidants that reduce inflammation, have anti-cancer properties, and are good for heart health.
Olive oil is monounsaturated fat. Monounsaturated fats are fat molecules with one unsaturated carbon bond in the molecule. Olive oil helps reduce harmful cholesterol levels in your blood, compared to coconut oil and lard, which cause free radicals. These free radicals may cause degenerative diseases such as atherosclerosis, inflammatory joint disease, cancer, diabetes, senile dementia, and eye degeneration.
Red peppers contain a wide variety of phytochemicals such as capsaicinoids, quercetin. luteolin, lutein, violaxanthin. These compounds have beneficial effects due to their antioxidant properties, which protect against oxidative damage to cells and help prevent degenerative diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, cataracts, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s. Peppers are one of the richest dietary sources of vitamin C. They also contain vitamin B6, vitamin K, potassium, folate, vitamin E, and vitamin A.
Green peppers are also an excellent source of vitamin C. They also contain the minerals magnesium and copper. They contain the phytochemical, phenolic acid, which may protect against health conditions such as insulin resistance, fatty liver, mental deterioration and heart disease. They also contain lutein which is healthy for your eyes. Green peppers also contain a high level of luteolin which is an antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties that may help protect the nervous system.
Cucumbers are also very healthy. They have a high water contact and are very low in calories. They are an excellent source of beta carotene, manganese vitamin c, and phytochemicals (alkaloids, flavonoids, tannins, steroids, and saponins). Cucumbers have potential antidiabetic, lipid-lowering, and antioxidant activity.
Garbanzo beans and potatoes are all great sources of minerals. Potatoes contain potassium, manganese, magnesium, calcium, iron, and copper. Garbanzo beans contain iron, magnesium, and selenium. Hummus and falafel contain garbanzo beans and are both healthy choices.
Romaine lettuce and spring mix are great healthy choices because they are packed full of nutrients and are so low in calories. They are good sources of folate, beta carotene (precursor to vitamin A), vitamin K, vitamin C and lutein. Lutein is an antioxidant that promotes eye health.
That was lots of information on vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals. You don’t need to remember all of the scientific names of these nutrients. The important takeaway is that Rachel’s offers a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables to choose from. The more variety of these fruits and vegetables you include makes for a healthier diet and healthier you.