Chemicals are often associated with something unnatural or harmful, negatively affecting our health through exposure or consumption. Then again, certain chemicals are essential for good health.
If you’re familiar with the periodic table of elements, you might recall some of the symbols for chemicals that are naturally present in the environment. AIM Members may recognize the Ca symbol for the calcium found in CalciAIM and the Se for the selenium in Proancynol 2000. Both chemical elements are essential minerals for our bodies.
This brings us to the world of phytonutrients—plant chemicals that provide healthy benefits.
According to Merriam-Webster, the term phytonutrient (plant nutrient) was first used in 1994, possibly to provide a bit of separation from the negative connotation of phytochemical.
For their own survival, plants manufacture natural chemicals that turn out to be beneficial for us. The vast array of plant nutrients and phytonutrients is the biggest benefit of a primarily plant-based diet.
Nutrients vs. Phytonutrients
Nutrients such as carbohydrates, fats, minerals, protein and vitamins are considered to be essential for life whether in large or small amounts.
Phytonutrients that include carotenoids, flavonoids and isothiocyanates are beneficial for our health but not considered essential. AIM Members are likely to see it differently.
Take BarleyLife as an example. This barley leaf juice powder provides a variety of nutrients, including calcium, vitamin K and protein, and hundreds of phytonutrients, most of which have yet to be researched for their possible benefits. Three key phytonutrients in BarleyLife are powerful antioxidants: superoxide dismutase, lutonarin and saponarin.
Most AIM Members make BarleyLife an essential part of their whole-food nutrition, increasing their daily intake of beneficial nutrients and phytonutrients that make a world of difference in their health.