What are mesonutrients – Are they vital for our nutrition?
In this article, I want to tell you what’s behind the “mesonutrients”, and their importance in our diet. The reasons why we eat as many fruits and vegetables as possible are vitamins and trace elements. But to be healthy, we need another component that researchers have been tracking for several years.
In the minds of many people, vitamins and trace elements are considered healthy. And, that is correct, because they are indisposable if we want to stay vital.
However, some time ago, scientists found another component that makes an equally important contribution to our health.
They are so-called bioactive substances, which some doctors have recently called mesonutrients. But don’t worry, you haven’t missed a new nutritional fashion trend! Despite the new name, it has long been known how important they are for our health.
Mesonutrients? Micronutrients? Macronutrients?
We call carbohydrates, fats and proteins macronutrients. They are the basis of our diet and provide us with energy to maintain our metabolism.
Micronutrients are vitamins, trace elements and minerals. They control our metabolic processes and we, like macronutrients, have to ingest them through food. However, mesonutrients are not in between, even if the term suggests it.
“Mesonutrients” are another name for bioactive substances in foods, which include secondary plant substances. We can also encounter these substances in fermented foods.
Especially in the English-speaking world, doctors also speak of the “active components” in our food. Active because, like vitamins and trace elements, they interact with our body and, thus, have a certain effect on our health.
So is it a new trend?
Definitely not, because these are substances that we have known for years. However, because this group includes several thousand substances and scientists discover more and more plant substances, there is still an enormous need for research.
Which foods contain these bioactive substances?
One can only find bioactive substances in plant foods. In addition to vegetables and fruits, herbs and spices contain particularly high amounts.
Allicin from garlic, lycopene from tomatoes, anthocyanins from blueberries and sulforaphane from broccoli are known to many.
This also includes the dandelion terpenes. Naturopaths worldwide place great hope in these plant substances.
Regional fruits and vegetables, in particular, contain many of the bioactive substances. That’s because they could ripen naturally before harvesting.
Meaning that, in contrast to industrial “turbo vegetables”, they were not quickly and chemically raised.
Above all, they sit directly under the shell or in the outer leaves of our foods. Therefore, you should always eat the skin of e.g apples, carrots, cucumbers and pears if possible.
Our tip: WE can only find the health-promoting effects attributed to bioactive substances in natural/organic foods.
This does not apply to isolated substances. Because not only one single substance alone, especially not in high doses, can be the key to our health.
It is the diversity of all-natural substances in their innate environment that we harvest the great health benefits from. A good example is curcumin, as it is considered a healthy component of the turmeric root.
Researchers investigated how well-isolated curcumin works against degenerated cells in a test tube. The result was outstanding.
The natural variety of ingredients in the turmeric root even exceeded the positive expectations of the researchers.
Researchers around the world are looking for the secret to healthy eating, and that is a good thing. However, we hold the key to our vitality in our hands.
When we eat balanced and plant-based foods, avoid industrially produced products and cook with fresh, regional and seasonal ingredients as often as possible, healthy eating is easy!
What is your opinion on mesonutrients and the importance of a well-balanced diet for health and longevity?
What do you consider as a healthy food for your daily diet? Let us know your thoughts regarding this topic in a comment below. I’m always looking forward to reading from you.
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