karen header 3

Karen's Blogs

Blogs are brief, to-the-point, conversational and packed with information, strategies, and tips to turn troubled eaters into “normal” eaters and to help you enjoy a happier, healthier life.Sign up by clicking "Subscribe" below and they’ll arrive in your inbox. 

[No unsolicited guest blogs accepted, thank you]

By accepting you will be accessing a service provided by a third-party external to https://www.karenrkoenig.com/

The Importance of Phytochemicals

Raise your hand if you know what a phytochemical is! I didn’t know the half of it until I read Fat-Phyting Phytochemicals (Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 3/27/12). No, I’m not encouraging you to focus on weight loss. The neat thing about phytochemicals is that they keep you healthy and, as a byproduct, may help you lose weight.

The article describes phytochemicals as “a huge group of nutritious plant-derived compounds and powerful antioxidants found in many fruits, vegetables, beans, cereals, and beverages like tea and red wine.” Eating them in “small, steady amounts from several sources” can actually promote weight loss while enhancing your health. According to Stephen Pratt, MD, these types of foods target total fat mass, drive up fat-burning metabolism, and “mimic the effect of caloric restriction” without negative effects.

Your body has some 40 billion fat cells, about 1/10 of which die each year and are replaced by new ones. Eating a steady diet of various phytochemical-containing foods works en masse to “attack fat cells at different stages of their life cycle—from birth to growth to maturity. Consume a variety of foods rich in these…phytochemicals, and it is possible to prevent new fat cells from developing and growing, and even cause existing ones to die.”

Ingesting lots of phytochemicals to fight fat is far healthier than dieting which may cause cellular inflammation and body stress. By eating these compounds regularly, you reduce the potential for yo-yo weight gain: “Because you interfere with the normal fat cell life cycle, it takes longer for fat cells to accumulate again” which “slows down your body’s natural process of replacing fat cells and thus reduces your change to regain weight.”

Phytochemical super-foods include red wine, peanuts, grapes, blueberries, apples, onions, teas, soy products, garbanzo beans, licorice, flaxseed, whole grains, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, eggplants, radishes, raspberries, blackberries, cranberries, strawberries, walnuts, carrots, yams, cantaloupe, squash, apricots, red peppers, tomatoes, pink grapefruit, spinach, kale, turnip greens, red clover, and garlic.

For those of you who are practicing “normal” eating and hope gradually to lose weight that stays lost, make sure to eat your fill of phytochemicals. They’ll keep your organs healthy, awaken your taste buds, add variety to your diet, and make you feel proud of yourself for taking such good care of your body. Go phytos!

Book Review: Someone to Talk To
Hanging with Healthy People

shelf new

EBProfessionalBadgeLarge

This website is owned and operated by Karen R. Koenig, M.Ed., LCSW. It contains material intended for informational and educational purposes only, and reasonable effort is made to keep its contents updated. Any material contained herein is not to be construed as the practice of clinical social work or of psychotherapy, although adherence to applicable Florida States, Rules, and Code of Ethics is observed. Material on this website is not intended as a substitute for medical or psychological advice, diagnosis, or treatment for mental health issues or eating disorder problems, which should be done only through individualized therapeutic consultation. Karen R. Koenig, LCSW disclaims any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the use of any information contained on this website. This website contains links to other sites. The inclusion of such links does not necessarily constitute endorsement by Karen R. Koenig, LCSW who disclaims any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the use of any information contained in this website. Further, Karen R. Koenig, LCSW, does not and cannot guarantee the accuracy or current usefulness of the material contained in the linked sites. Users of any website must be aware of the limitation to confidentiality and privacy, and website usage does not carry any guarantee or privacy of any information contained therein.  Privacy Policy