Should You Be Counting Mesonutrients, Not Macronutrients?

They're about what's *inside* the nutrient.

Image: iStock

First, we were told that if you were really want to change your body, you need to count macronutrients, not calories. Then, it was actually the micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) in foods we should be looking at, to ensure we’re getting optimal nutrition. And now, just when you think you’ve finally got it down pat, yet another type of nutrient pops up claiming to be the answer to improved wellbeing. Enter, the mesonutrient.

What is a mesonutrient?

While macro means ‘big’ in the Greek language and micro means ‘small’, ‘meso’ literally translates to ‘inside.’ A mesonutrient refers to the active compounds or antioxidants within the foods that make them so stellar for our health. Much like the active ingredients in skincare, mesonutrients lead to positive, physical reactions in the body.
Companies like Coyne Healthcare are pushing the importance of mesonutrients, releasing a range of these active compounds in high-dose form. However, you don’t necessarily need to stock up on powders to make sure you’re getting the right mesonutrients in your diet—they’re in many of the foods you’re probably already eating. These are some of the mesonutrients you need to know about:


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Here’s one mesonutrient you’ve likely heard of! Curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric, famed for its powerful anti-inflammatory benefits.


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Found in red foods like tomato and watermelon, lycopene has been found to help protect the skin from environmental damage, strengthen the bones and prevent against prostate, lung, and stomach cancers.


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Short for epigallocatechin gallate, ECGC is one of a group of plant phenols (also known as tannins) found in green tea that has been found to have the most powerful cancer-preventing benefits.


Image: iStock

This antioxidant is found in naturally purple foods like in blackcurrants, blackberries and blueberries and purple sweet potatoes, as well as some red foods like cherries, pomegranates and cranberries. They have been linked to a wide variety of health claims, including cardiovascular health, increased longevity, cancer prevention and dementia.


Image: iStock

This mesonutrient is a little harder to come by, as they’re found in foods like golden seal and barberries. “What are those?” you may be wondering—which is exactly our point! This is one mesonutrient that may be worth seeking out in supplement form, as they’re thought to balance blood pressure and have remarkable anti-inflammatory properties.


Image: iStock

Yep, you guessed it—this one is derived from the spice, saffron! It’s known for its antidepressant, appetite suppressing and libido-boosting benefits.

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