Phytonutrients, Colourful Compounds for Chronic Disease

About the Presentation

Phytonutrients: Colorful Compounds for Chronic Disease

The future of medicine lies in personalised nutrition pertaining to nutrigenomics, epigenetics and phytogenomics. With a growing base of research studying the associations between phytonutrients and chronic disease, it is essential for nutritionists and other healthcare professionals to gain a deeper understanding of clinical assessment and application of these health-promoting nutrients.

Phytonutrients are present in a wide range of plant-based foods and play a key role in genetics, epigenetics, transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics. Phytonutrients such as carotenoids, flavonoids, phytosterols and others have been studied for their benefits in treatment and prevention of cardio vascular disease, cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s, offering additional credence to the efficacy of nutritional interventions for chronic disease.

According to studies, phytonutrients interact with several systems in the body including Phase I and Phase II liver detoxification, the gut microflora as well as with cell receptors. Each color in the phytonutrient spectrum represents a wide range of energetic and therapeutic actions in the body. Evidence shows that these pleiotropic effects make increased intake even more important as multiple systems are impacted from just one nutrient.

This workshop will present healthcare professionals with the latest findings on phytonutrient actions in the body offering a foundation for further education and practical application with their patients.

Learning Objectives

Presentation Goals

  1. To educate attendees about the latest research and clinical applications for phytonutrients related to gene expression, disease treatment/prevention, and personalized nutrition.
  2. To provide a foundation for clinicians to detect and diagnose phytronutrient deficiencies in their patients and offer ways to maximize daily phytonutrient intake.

Learning Objectives

  1. To understand the importance of phytonutrients in health and reducing chronic disease (RATIONALE)
  2. To learn about new findings in phytonutrient research and apply them clinically (NEW CLINICAL FINDINGS)
  3. To understand how to instruct a patient to get the most phytonutrients from their food (ACTION – THE “DO”)

Presentation Outline

  1. Classification of phytonutrients and their health benefits
  2. Types and sources of phytonutrients
  3. Phytonutrient effects on genetic and epigenetic events
  4. Cellular communication
  5. Role as antioxidants in the body
  6. Physiological pathways of phytonutrients in the body

Clinical assessment of phytonutrients

  1. Phytonutrient Index (PI)
  2. Phytonutrients and disease (ie. Obesity, cancer, T2DM, inflammation, dementia)
  3. Laboratory markers of phytonutrient deficiencies
  4. Assessing client intake of phytonutrients and disease risk

III. Guiding the patient toward a more colorful diet

  1. Overview of the phytonutrient gap in the average person
  2. Serving recommendations
  3. Phytonutrient food combinations for enhanced effectiveness

The phytonutrient spectrum

  1. Red foods—root foods
  2. Orange foods—creativity
  3. Yellow foods—confidence and transformation
  4. Green foods—love and healing
  5. Blue foods—wisdom and the mind
  6. Phytonutrients in spices
  7. Microgreens and bitter foods
  8. The role of dietary nitrates and nitrites


About the Presenter

Dr. Deanna Minich is an internationally-recognised lifestyle medicine expert, creative visionary, and author of five books. Her twenty years of experience in the nutrition and functional medicine fields led her to develop an integrated, “whole self” approach to nutrition called Food & Spirit, which is the practice of understanding one’s eating and living through the seven core symbolic themes. In 2014, she launched the Certified Food & Spirit Practitioner Program ( to provide health professionals with a practical way to apply the Food & Spirit principles into clinical medicine. Dr. Minich has had a diverse, well-rounded experience in the field of nutrition including clinical practice, research, product formulation, marketing, writing, and education. She received her nutrition education during her Doctoral (Ph.D.) study at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands where she researched essential fatty acid absorption and metabolism, and from her Master’s Degree (M.S.) at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she focused on carotenoids and oxidative stress. She is a Fellow of the American College of Nutrition (F.A.C.N.), a Certified Nutrition Specialist (C.N.S.), Certified Nutritionist (C.N.) by the Washington State Department of Health, and a Registered Yoga Teacher (R.Y.T.). She is the author of five books on health and wellness, and over fifteen scientific publications. Currently, she is senior advisor to the Personalized Lifestyle Medicine Institute in Seattle, WA, and is adjunct faculty for the Institute for Functional Medicine and two universities. Her passion is teaching a whole-self approach to nourishment and bridging the gaps between science, spirituality, and art in medicine.


3 hours of self-directed learning

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