Plants contain a lot of vitamins and minerals. They are also reach in compounds – natural chemicals, known as phytonutrients or phytochemicals.
Phytonutrients protect the plants from different germs, fungi and other terms.
Phytonutrients aren’t essential for a human health but, they keep body working properly and also may help prevent different diseases.
More about phytonytrients
Vegetables, fruits, nuts, whole grains, tea etc, contain phytonutrients like:
- Ellagic acid
More than 600 carotenoids provide red, orange and yellow color in vegetables and fruits. They act as an antioxidants because they attack the free radicals in our body. Important carotenoids are: Alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, lycopene, lutein and zeaxanthin. Yellow and orange foods like pumpkins and carrots, sweet red pepper contain alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin. Your body can convert this chemicals into vitamin A. They are excellent food for eye health. Tomatoes, pink grapefruit and tomatoes contain lycopene, compounds that may reduce the risk of prostate cancer and skin cancer. Kale and spinach are source of lycopene and zeaxanthin, chemicals that may reduce the problems with cataracta and macular degeneration.
Chemicals known as flavonoids are: flavonols, catechins, hesperidin. Apples, berries and onion contain flavonols. They may reduce the risk of high blood pressure, certain types of cancer and also reduce problems with astma. Catechins are source in green tea. They may reduce the risk of certain cancer types. Hesperidin reduces inflamation process in the body, acts as an antioxidant and reduces the risk of cancer. Citrus fruits contain hespridin.
Ellagic acid acts against cancer cells developing and may help to neutralize the harmful chemicals that help cancer cells growing. Berries and pomegranates contain ellagic acid.
Brassica vegetables like: kale, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, brussels sprouts, collard etc contain glucosinolates. This compound controls cancer cells growing.
Reservatol has an anti-inflammatory role and acts as an antioxidant. Purple grape contains reservatol.
Phytoestrogens block the estrogen’s hormone supplying and can behave as this hormone. Lignans and isoflavones are two types of phytoestrogens. Flex seeds and sesame seeds contain lignans, soy foods contain isoflavones.