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Phytochemical-Rich Foods Are Our Best Defense Against Diseases


Phytochemicals, also called phytonutrients, came from the Greek word “Phyto” which means “plant.”

According to studies, these important plant components are commonly present in whole grains, fruits, veggies, beans, herbs, nuts, seeds, and spices. They are responsible for the plants’ odor, color, and flavor.

Experts believed that they play an important role in the chemical processes in our bodies. They are believed to protect cells from oxidative stress that could lead to cancer.

There are over 4,000 phytochemicals that have been discovered by experts. Here are some of them:


Flavonoids


They are found in lots of grains, vegetables, and fruits including citrus fruits, apples, onions, tea, coffee, licorice.


Carotenoids


They are the ones that give carrots, yams, cantaloupe, squash, and apricots their orange color. Aside from these, they are also present in leafy greens and broccoli.


Anthocyanins


These are present grapes, blueberries, cranberries, and raspberries. They are responsible for their dark color.


Resveratrol


Significant amounts are found in red wine, grapes, dark chocolate, and peanuts.


Polyphenols


Eat more of grapes, wine, berries, citrus fruit, apples, green tea, peanuts, and whole grains to increase the body’s level of these phytochemicals.


Lutein And Zeaxanthin


Abundantly found in dark, leafy greens.


Antioxidants


These protector of the cells from free radicals can be found in broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, cantaloupe, oranges, green tea, spinach, nuts, lettuce, celery, tomatoes, corn, carrots, mangos, sweet potatoes, liver, fish oil, seeds, grains, kale, beets, red peppers, potatoes, blueberries, and strawberries.


Sulfides


Obtain more of these by consuming garlic and onions.


Terpenes


They are mostly found in cherries, rosemary, and citrus fruit peel.

The plant sources of these phytonutrients have garnered considerable attention in the medical world.

Health experts claimed that consumption of these plant sources can provide our body with nutritional benefits and help us lower our risk of serious health problems like cancer, cataract, strokes, cardiovascular diseases, Alzheimer’s disease, and other age-related ailments.


Phytochemical Benefits


  1. May protect us from against neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
  2. May inhibit cancer growth and cardiovascular disease
  3. Helps boost immunity
  4. Help decrease inflammation and blood pressure
  5. Fight viruses
  6. Stimulates DNA repair and halts further damage
  7. Promotes eye and bone health
  8. Better function of the lining of the arteries
  9. Regulates hormones
  10. May help prevent tumor growth
  11. Prevents substances from converting into carcinogens which cause cancer in living tissue

Consumption of phytochemical-rich foods can help reduce a person’s risk of breast cancer by up to 40% according to Breastcancer.org. Furthermore, some studies claim that we can lower down our risk of coronary disease by 17% by increasing our intake of brightly-colored and strong-flavored fruits and vegetables.

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