Home: Phytochemicals 


With the passage of time, a north american diet appears to almost always contain more fatty processed foods and less natural plant based foods than in the past. The end results of this obvious trend can be seen in research statistics relating to cancer, heart disease, strokes, elevated cholesterol levels and many other forms of degenerative diseases suffered by numerous individuals.

Apart from the undisputable dietary problems associated with the consumption of high fat foods, protein and simple carbohydrates is the considerably inadequate intake of plant based foods and all the health giving benefits which they provide.

A lot of people are aware that eating plant based foods adds much needed fiber, vitamins and minerals to the diet however what they may not realize are the many benefits of the phytochemicals that these plants contain.

Phytochemicals come in a variety of forms. Different vegetables have higher concentrations of a particular phytochemical than others and some of these main phytochemicals include:

Carotenoids - Found in broccoli, carrots, pumpkin, spinach, squash, sweet potato and yams.

Flavonoids - Found in cabbage, cucumber, parsley, tomatoes, broccoli, carrots, soybeans and berries.

Isoflavones - Found in peas, beans and legumes.

Indioles - Found in brussels sprouts, cauliflower, turnips, bok choy, broccoli, cabbage and kale.

Lignans - Found in walnuts, flaxseeds and many other nuts and seeds.

Lipids (fatty acids) - Found in hemp seeds and oil, walnuts and flaxseeds.

Plant Sterols - Found in hemp seed and oil eggplant, soybeans, peppers, tomatoes, squash, cucumber, cabbage and broccoli.

The above noted list is only a small part of the whole phytochemical family which encompasses an extensive range of nutrients.

Benefits of Phytochemicals

Phytochemicals act in numerous ways to assist your body in combating disease and health problems such as:

1) Helps to protect the cells by blocking carcinogens that try to enter the cell walls.

2) Helps to fight the malignant changes within cells that have already been penetrated by carcinogens.

3) Appears to boost enzyme activity to increase the benefits of the various protective enzymes consumed within the diet.

4) Combines with numerous vitamins to boost antioxidants activity to scavenge free radicals before they can cause damage within the body.

5) Has been proven to reduce bad cholesterol levels

Although it is not important to know the names and benefits of the large range of phytochemicals that exist, what is important is to understand that maintaining a diet that contains a variety of fruits, nuts and vegetables will combine the benefits of the phytochemicals and vitamins to help you achieve optimal health.

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