In a recent blog post, Ruth answered a question about feeding raw parsley to baby where she mentioned phytonutrients. When it comes to phytonutrients (organic components of plants…thought to promote human health – thanks for the definition, WebMD!), which get destroyed during cooking, she mentions that it is better to use raw or steamed greens. Always remember to check the age-appropriateness of raw foods for your baby, though. As Ruth mentioned with parsley – no raw parsley until baby is 9 months old!
Phytonutrients are the big thing now that have been discovered and proven in studies to really be good for you, although not all are “essential” for life. They are the plant nutrients that you may have been hearing about – lutein, lycopene, etc.. The supplement manufactures have jumped in head first and there are now lots of pills with phytonutrients, but don’t use the supplements. Use real whole food, which will have the entire realm of related phytonutrients in the proper proportions.
There’s lots of info on the net, but use only trusted sites that use scientifically proven info. Here’s a page you can trust: http://www.ars.usda.gov/aboutus/docs.htm?docid=4142 You are sure to hear more about phytonutrients from us in the near future!