We’ve explored the importance of incorporating both macronutrients (fats, proteins and carbohydrates) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) into our diet. Now, Australia is starting to dive deep into the world of mesonutrients.
What are mesonutrients?
If you haven’t heard of mesonutrients, you’re not alone. It’s a relatively new term being touted around the health and wellness industry at the moment. In the Greek language, macro means ‘big’, micro means ‘small’, while meso literally translates to ‘inside’.
A mesonutrient refers to the active compounds inside the foods that make them so amazing for our health. Active compounds are commonly identified as antioxidants or anti-inflammatories, which means they can help protect cells and DNA from damage caused by natural metabolism, pollution or UV rays. They also help to reduce problems associated with inflammation, such as joint pain, immune system problems and digestive issues.
Each mesonutrient has its own set of unique health benefits and these can range from things like supporting heart health and helping to regulate blood sugar, to improving sleep or reducing anxiety. While mesonutrients are not new in the science world, some experts think we may receive more benefits from these antioxidants or anti-inflammatories by consuming them in higher, more concentrated doses, for example through supplements.
The best way to understand these essential and powerful compounds is by taking a deeper look into individual mesonutrients and the roles they play in human health.
Here are some examples of foods that are made “super” with its active compound edge:
Tomatoes contain Lycopene, a powerful antioxidant, which can help our bodies manage cholesterol and high blood pressure and can lower the risk of certain cancers.
Green tea contains Epigallocatechin gallate, which can help reduce inflammation, aid weight loss and help prevent heart and brain disease.
Blueberries (and other red and purple fruits) contain Anthocyanins which can help improve immune function, enhance exercise performance and recovery, help prevent heart disease and certain cancers.
Turmeric contains Curcumin, a powerful anti-inflammatory, which can alleviate depression and anxiety, support digestive health and can alleviate IBS symptoms.
Saffron has a key active compound called Safranal, which has shown to benefit the nervous system, acting as a mild antidepressant, helping with PMS symptoms, low moods, sleep problems or mild anxiety.
Ultimately, mesonutrients can be consumed naturally by eating superfoods or taking higher doses in supplements. Regardless of how you consume these super star nutrients, by simply being aware of what mesonutrients are and where you can get them, equips you with the knowledge to manage your daily nutrient intake and overall health.