Plant-based foods, such as fruit, vegetables, and whole grains, contain phytochemicals, which may provide desirable health benefits beyond basic nutrition.
Phytochemicals are organic substances found in vegetables, fruits and other plants.
Many phytochemicals have antioxidant properties that provide bright colors to vegetable and fruits.
Phytochemicals include flavonoids, capsaicin, insoflavones, and indoles.
Phytochemicals are frequently confused with phytonutrients. Whereas phytochemicals include plant compounds that are beneficial as well as those that are detrimental, phytonutrients specifically refers to compounds that have a positive effect. In other words, all phytonutrients are phytochemicals, but not all phytochemicals are phytonutrients.
When you are eating phytochemicals, they help your body in completing thousands of biochemical processes, such as stimulating your immune system, blocking substances from becoming carcinogens, decreasing inflammation, and protecting and repairing DNA.
Below are some common categories of phytochemicals, how they help your body and some foods you’ll find them in.
May inhibit inflammation and tumor growth, immune strengthening and help form detoxification pathways.
May prevent cancer cell growth, improve immune response and act as an antioxidant.
Carrots, tomatoes, dark leafy greens and sweet potatoes
INDOLES AND GLUCOSINOLATES
May assist with detoxification of carcinogens and reduce production of cancer-related hormones.
Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower and kale)
Preparing meals with different colors of the rainbow will help you get plenty of phytochemicals.
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