Our blog has moved to a temporary url! Redirecting...

You should be automatically redirected. If not, visit and update your bookmarks.

Friday, August 21, 2009

The Wonders of Phytochemicals! - Derek

I've wanted to post something about this for a while, so I finally went through several of my old exercise magazines and clipped out some nutrition articles. For those of you who read such magazines with any regularity, you probably recognize the type of article I was looking for. They usually begin with "such and such chemical found to have xyz dramatic health benefits", then they go on to tell you to buy said chemical in supplement form. I always find these articles funny (and frustrating) because of their obvious implications. Here are some I cut out as examples:

  • Antioxidants in blueberries found to slow the effects of aging - CNN
  • Beta-ecdysterone in spinach increases protein synthesis [muscle growth] by 20% - MuscleMag
  • Betaine from beets found to increase muscle endurance and recovery - Flex
  • Fruits and vegetables help maintain muscle mass and reduce muscle wasting in older adults - MuscleMag
  • ECGC in green tea boosts the immune system and helps reduce bodyfat - Muscle and Fitness
  • Capsaicin in hot peppers helps reduce overeating and aids in loss of bodyfat - Muscle and Fitness
  • Polyphenols in apples increase muscle strength - Flex
  • Licorice extract from the licorice plant increases weight loss - MuscleMag
  • Resveratrol in grapes is a potent anti-cancer chemical - Men's Health
  • Lycopene in tomatoes prevents prostate cancer - Eating Well
The pattern is pretty obvious to me, but the magazines inevitably go on to advertise a supplement form of the aforementioned chemical to reap the health benefits. It seems a lot easier and less expensive to me to eat a salad or have some fruit. Not only that, but there are literally thousands of phytochemicals in all the plants we eat. Isn't there just a chance one of those that hasn't yet been studied is also beneficial? Isn't there also a chance that some of these compounds have synergistic benefits when eaten together? It seems reasonable to assume so, so we can go ahead and say that eating produce to ingest these miracle compounds is easier, cheaper, and more-than-likely much healthier than taking them as isolated supplements. Hmmmm...

Just me ranting on what ought to be obvious, but I hope this encourages everyone to eat even more greens and beans!



Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home