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Nutrients Give Cells Strength To Battle Immune Diseases, Free Radicals

Updated on October 10, 2013
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The Benefits Of Nutritional Unrefined Foods Are Enormous

Ever heard of icothiocyanates ? phytochemicals ? what about dna methylation ? understanding these terms will lead you to a better understanding of why unrefined, nutritious food is essential to a healthy diet.

Broadly defined, nutrients are substances the body's systems utilize that the body itself cannot produce on its own. Examples include vitamins and phytochemicals.

Phytochemicals found naturally in plants, are diverse both in variety and the way in which they transmit their effects. Every plant has a unique set of phytochemicals however, some phytochemicals are found in more than one plant as is the case with selenium. The phytochemical allyl disulphide which makes your eyes water when you cut into an onion is actually extremely beneficial; it lowers the blood sugar by activating more sites in the liver where insulin is produced; this results in more insulin which in turn converts more glucose into fuel that can be used by cells. Phytochemicals also have anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.

Chewing vegetables inhibits cancer growth. Chewing broccoli, cabbage and other veggies rich in isothiocyantes releases them into the moouth; This happens because chewing breaks down the plant cell walls leading to the release of myronase and subsequently ITC's. Icothiocyantes are unique in that they have been shown to inhibit a variety of enzymes implicated in tumor development. These changes can even lead to the destruction or apoptosis of diseased cells.

Also note that phosphorylation of key enzymes (thereby turning them on and off) is intrinsically important as it is the route many antioxidants must take to transmit their effects.

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Eating Raw Is Best

Up to 90% of vitamins C & D in fruits and veggies are lost during processing, storage, and cooking. That's because heating them at high temperatures damages the nutritional parts including the cell wall.

DNA Damage and Free Radicals

When an atom loses an electron the entire cell becomes charged and highly reactive, putting it at risk for dna damage. Eventually the cell will incorrectly pair with an electron, making it susceptible to damage by other electrons: the cell ultimately dies. Antioxidants such as phytochemicals, are present only in unrefined fruits and vegetables. They are our body's only defense against dna damage by free radicals.

Before rushing to the drug store to buy supplements, keep in mind that only naturally consumed antioxidants can provide you with dna protection; the benefit of supplements is limited to their role in protecting other cell components including the proteins that participage in important cellular pathways.


Increased cell damage leads to accelerated ageing. A free radical can also damage future dna by affecting its blueprint for dna and rna.

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