FAQ: Why are phytochemicals important?

What are phytochemicals and why might they be important?

Phytochemicals are compounds that are produced by plants (“phyto” means “plant”). They are found in fruits, vegetables, grains, beans, and other plants. Some of these phytochemicals are believed to protect cells from damage that could lead to cancer.

Why do we need phytochemicals?

The phytochemicals may stimulate the immune system, slow the growth rate of cancer cells, and prevent DNA damage that can lead to cancer and other diseases as described in the following section suggesting that many phytochemicals are antioxidants protecting the cells of the body from oxidative damage from water, food,

What is the primary function of phytochemicals in the body?

In particular, plant pigment phytochemicals, carotenoids and flavonoids, are the most extensively studied phytochemicals for their antioxidant functions as well as potential preventive medicinal benefits such as maintaining inflammation balance, reducing the risk of certain cancers, and promoting cardiovascular,

How do phytochemicals influence our health?

Fruit and vegetables contain a wide variety of antioxidant compounds (phytochemicals) such as phenolics and carotenoids that may help protect cellular systems from oxidative damage and lower the risk of chronic diseases.

What are phytochemicals examples?

Phytochemicals are a wide variety of nonnutritive chemical compounds found in plant foods, which may have health effects. A few examples of well-known phytochemicals are the flavonoids, phenolic acids, isoflavones, curcumin, isothiocyanates, and carotenoids.

Are all phytochemicals beneficial?

Although currently there is no conclusive evidence that any one specific phytochemical is guaranteed to reduce cancer risk or help eliminate cancer if you have it, promising evidence indicates that phytochemicals may have the potential to: Aid the function of the immune system.

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Are phytochemicals good or bad?

So far, the evidence indicates that phytochemicals have promising benefits. For example: Carotenoids in red, orange, yellow, and green plants (cooked tomatoes, carrots, squash, and broccoli) may inhibit cancer growth and cardiovascular disease, and boost immunity.

Which foods contain phytochemicals?

Foods rich in phytochemicals include apples, apricots, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, garlic, legumes, onions, red peppers, soybeans, sweet potatoes, and tomatoes.

What are two types of phytochemicals?

There are four main categories of phytochemicals: carotenoids, flavonoids, ellagic acid, and allium compounds: Carotenoids such as beta-carotene, lycopene, and lutein protect fat cells, blood, and other bodily fluids from free radicals.

What is the difference between phytochemicals and nutrients?

Phytochemicals are processed by the body as xenobiotics since it does not distinguish between beneficial, neutral or toxic compounds but only between nutrients and compounds which are not nutrients.

What is the difference between phytochemicals and phytonutrients?

Phytonutrients are chemicals produced by plants. Foods with phytonutrients have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. Phytonutrients, also called phytochemicals, are chemicals produced by plants. Plants use phytonutrients to stay healthy.

How do phytochemicals prevent disease?

To get enough phytochemicals, eat large amounts of brightly colored fruits and vegetables, whole grains and cereals, and beans. The kinds of phytochemicals varies by color and type of food. These compounds may act as antioxidants or nutrient protectors. They can help keep cancer-causing agents from forming.

What fruits have phytochemicals?

Sources of phytochemicals

Anthocyanins are found in red and blue fruits (such as raspberries and blueberries) and vegetables. Biflavonoids are found in citrus fruits. Carotenoids are found in dark yellow, orange, and deep green fruits and vegetables such as tomatoes, parsley, oranges, pink grapefruit, and spinach.

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What is the difference between phytochemicals and antioxidants?

Antioxidants are thought to help protect cells by removing free radicals before they cause damage. Phytochemicals may help reduce the risk of cancer, but there is still a lot to learn about the activity of phytochemicals and their protective effects.

What are the 6 classes of nutrients?

There are six major nutrients: Carbohydrates (CHO), Lipids (fats), Proteins, Vitamins, Minerals, Water.

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