Foods contain an enormous number of chemical substances, also known as nutrients. All of these different nutrients work together like an orchestra. Each instrument in an orchestra contributes to the ensemble but does not singularly define it.
Just as each individual instrument in an orchestra works collaboratively with the other instruments to produce a beautiful symphony, the vast array of nutrients in food work together to create the foundation for your health. In the case of food, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
And you are the conductor!
Foods are not just a handful of different nutrients—we should measure the nutrients in each food perhaps in the tens of thousands, maybe the hundreds of thousands.
What is interesting about the nutrients in foods is that they work together as they get absorbed and then become highly integrated in the form of metabolism. The combined activities of countless food substances are what nutrition is really all about.
To get a glimpse of what that means, lets think about spinach. Take a look at this table listing out its nutritional profile:
Isn’t this a remarkable array of phytonutrients?
Every single fruit and vegetable has a similarly impressive, but distinct profile. It is the interaction of these phytonutrients that enhance immune response, cause cancer cells to die, repair DNA caused by toxic exposures, and enhance cell-to-cell communication. Just think of the amazing symphony that occurs in your body when you eat a large quantity and wide variety of fruits and vegetables in your diet!
And YOU are conducting the orchestra.
Here’s to making beautiful music!