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9 Disease-Preventing Plant Nutrients You Need to Know

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9 Disease-Preventing Plant Nutrients You Need to Know

1.  Anthocyanins

These natural, health-boosting substances give certain fruits their purple to reddish color. Not only does research show that anthocy­anins have the capacity to boost short-term memory by 100 percent in just eight weeks, they also stimulate the burning of stored fat in the body to be used as fuel. A group of laboratory animals fed a high-fat diet along with anthocyanins gained 24 percent less weight than their counterparts fed only the fatty diet, according to research published in The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Anthocyanins are found in dark purple or red grapes, cherries, and berries, including blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries.

2.  Carotenoids
Carotenoids are the yellow, orange, and red pigments found in foods like carrots, sweet potatoes, apricots, mangoes, pumpkin, tomatoes, papaya, peaches, and other similarly colored foods. Dark green veg­etables like broccoli and leafy greens also contain high amounts of carotenoids. You may have heard about beta-carotene, lutein, and lycopene, all of which are specific types of carotenoids. Not only do these nutrients help strengthen our eyesight and boost our immunity to disease, they are powerful antioxidants that help ward off cancer and protect against the effects of aging.

Studies at Harvard University of more than 124,000 people showed a 32 percent reduction in risk of lung cancer in people who consumed a variety of carotenoid-rich foods as part of their regular diet. Another study of women who had completed treatment for early stage breast cancer conducted by researchers at Women’s Healthy Eating and Living (WHEL) found that women with the highest blood concentrations of carotenoids had the least likelihood of cancer recurrence.

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Read more: Health, Allergies, Alternative Therapies, Alzheimer's, Arthritis, Cancer, Cholesterol, Cold and Flu, Diabetes, Diet & Nutrition, Eating for Health, General Health, Mental Wellness, Michelle Schoffro Cook, Natural Remedies, Women's Health, , , , , , ,

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Michelle Schoffro Cook

Michelle Schoffro Cook, MSc, RNCP, ROHP, DNM, PhD is an international best-selling and 17-time book author and board-certified doctor of natural medicine, whose works include: 60 Seconds to Slim, Weekend Wonder Detox, Healing Recipes, The Vitality Diet, Allergy-Proof, Arthritis-Proof, Total Body Detox, The Life Force Diet, The Ultimate pH Solution, The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan, and her new book The Probiotic Promise. Subscribe to her free e-magazine World's Healthiest News at to receive monthly health news, tips, recipes and more. Follow her on Twitter @mschoffrocook and Facebook.


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12:16AM PDT on Apr 17, 2012

Well rounded article.

3:49AM PDT on Mar 17, 2011

Thanks for the info.

4:28AM PST on Jan 31, 2011

Good information. While it may be challenging to remember all the substances and their health goals, it is not difficult to make a list of these foods to take with me when shopping and include them heavily in our diet. Thank you.

5:29AM PST on Dec 5, 2010

Amazing to find that all the foods you've loved while growing up are the ones that are best for you :)

7:19AM PST on Dec 4, 2010

Good to know! Thank you! :D

2:49AM PST on Nov 16, 2010

useful info, thanks for sharing :)

7:38AM PDT on Nov 5, 2010


3:21AM PDT on Oct 28, 2010

Thanks for this info.

8:11AM PDT on Oct 24, 2010


8:16PM PDT on Oct 21, 2010

All the comments are wonderful! Especially washing in vinegar! I love Care2! Always informative!

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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