If you are a person who cares about diet and nutrition, then you must know more about phytochemicals. So what are Phytochemicals? Phytochemicals are compounds that are found in plant-based foods and these compounds cause biological activity in your body. These chemical compounds impart the special tastes, smells, colours and other elements that make fruits and vegetables so appealing both in terms of taste, smell and the way they look.
Phytochemicals that come from a variety of food will protect you against DNA damage and also protects the body against cancer. Let us look at various phytochemicals.
Possible Effects: Modulates blood clotting, possibly reducing the risk of fatal clots in heart and artery disease
Food Source: Hot peppers
Name: Carotenoids (including beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein and hundreds of related compounds)
Possible Effects: Act as antioxidants and reduces the risks of cancer and other diseases.
Food Source: Richly pigmented fruits and vegetables (apricots, broccoli, cantaloupe, carrots, pumpkin, spinach, sweet potatoes, tomatoes)
Possible Effects: Inhibits enzymes that activate carcinogens
Food Source: Tumeric, a yellow-colored spice
Name: Flavonoids (including flavones, flavonols, isoflavones, catechins and others)
Possible Effects: Act as antioxidants; remove carcinogens; attaches to nitrates in the stomach, prevents conversion to nitrosamines; inhibits cell proliferation.
Food Source: Berries, black tea, green tea, celery, citrus fruits, olives, onions, oregano, purple grapes, purple grape juice, soy beans and soy products, vegetables, whole wheat and wine.
Possible Effects: Triggers production of enzymes that block DNA damage from carcinogens; Inhibits estrogen action
Food Source: Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, horseradish, mustard greens
Name: Organosulfur compounds
Name: Phenolic acids
Possible Effects: Triggers enzyme production to make carcinogens water–soluble, facilitates excretion
Food Source: Coffee beans, apples, blueberries, cherries, grapes, oranges, pears, prunes, oats, potatoes, soybeans
Name: Phytoestrogens (genisteain and daidzein)