nutrient glossary
Green tea leaves for NUTRILITE vitamin, mineral supplements
How Nutrients Work Vitamin K
Carbohydrates Calcium
Protein Chromium
Fats Iron
Vitamin A Magnesium
Vitamin B Selenium
Vitamin C Omega Fatty Acids
Vitamin D Phytonutrients
Vitamin E

Role of Phytonutrients in Good Nutrition

The term "phytonutrient" is applied to those plant compounds that promote better health, although they are not absolutely essential to human health.

The crucial role of fresh, whole plants in human nutrition is undisputed.

  • Worldwide research has confirmed that diets rich in plants can lead to optimal health.
  • Scientists know that plants improve health at least partially because of the thousands of plant chemicals or compounds (phytonutrients) supplied in a plant-rich diet.

Key Functions

Different plant varieties produce different kinds of phytonutrients.

  • The level of phytonutrients within any given plant varies, depending on the species of plant, the soil conditions and many other environmental factors.
  • Unlike vitamins and minerals, phytonutrients are not classified as essential; yet they appear to have many benefits for our overall health, both in general and for specific conditions.

Food Sources

Plant-based food sources, including brightly-colored fruits and vegetables

  • Think "color," because different phytonutrients exist in fruits and vegetables of varying colors.


No specific recommendations exist at this time for most or all phytonutrients. A general recommendation is to consume five different-colored fruits and vegetables daily to benefit from a variety of many different phytonutrients.

Safety Evidence

No standard levels of phytonutrient intake have been established; therefore, no over-consumption levels have been published by leading health authorities.