What are phytochemicals? They aren't something produced by a big chemical company, but they are substances we should eat every day.
are natural compounds that are found in fruits and vegetables, grains
and legumes. Each type of fruit or vegetable may contain hundreds of
|Apples||Flavonoids||Protect against cancer, cholesterol lowering, fight heart disease, reduce inflammation|
|Beans||Flavonoids (saponins)||Protect against cancer, cholesterol lowering|
|Berries||Ellagic Acid||Prevent cellular changes that can lead to cancer, protect aging brain|
|Broccoli||Indoles, isothiocyanates||Protect against cancer, stroke and heart disease|
|Citrus fruits||Flavonoids (limonene)||Antioxidant, inhibit tumor formation, decrease inflammation|
|Flaxseed||Isoflavones||Protect against cancer, lower cholesterol|
|Garlic||Allium (allyl sulfides)||Protect against cancer and heart disease, boost immune system|
|Grains||Isoflavones||Protect against cancer, lower cholesterol|
|Red grapes||Flavonoids (quercitin)||Protect against cancer and heart disease|
|Onions||Allium (allyl sulfides)||Protect against cancer and heart disease, boost immune system|
|Soy||Isoflavones||Protect against cancer and heart disease, improve bone density, reduce menopausal symptoms|
|Tea||Flavonoids||Protect against cancer and heart disease|
|Tomatoes||Flavonoids||Protect against cancer, fight infection|
This table shows which phytochemicals are found in which foods. If you are looking for a certain food and it isn't listed, look up another food of the same color--odds are it contains the same phyto chemicals. For instance, if you're looking for kale, check out broccoli.
Now that you know how important these substances are to your good health, you may be wondering how you can increase your intake of them. Here are a few tips for you:
You can't go wrong eating fresh fruits and vegetables. But when people start isolating and even synthesizing substances, that's when you could run into trouble. For instance, studies have shown the potential for high doses of flavonoids to cause gastrointestinal or allergic problems.
People sometimes think that if a substance is good for them in a small amount, then a big amount would be even better. That's not always true. Large, isolated amounts might be harmful.
So, the most prudent thing is to continue to eat lots
of fruits and vegetables to ensure you're getting a healthy amount of
Visit the Glossary for definitions.