Phytonutrients are not as famous as vitamins and minerals since these elements are not really necessary for our survival. However, when you consume food rich in phytochemicals, it can help with the normal functioning of your body as well as the prevention of various diseases.
It may not be essential for keeping you alive but the benefits of phytonutrients can definitely improve you and your family’s health.
What Are Phytonutrients and What Are Their Functions?
Phytonutrients, also known as phytochemicals, are compounds produced in plants in order to keep them healthy. Some of these phytonutrients safeguard the plants against insect attacks. There are also those which shield the plant from the harmful UV rays.
It’s easy to identify fruits and vegetables high in phytonutrients because they are usually colorful like carrots, peppers, apples, green leafy vegetables, and the like.
From the time people started to study phytonutrients and until today, they have already discovered about 40,000 of these compounds in varieties of plants. They have also discovered the importance of phytonutrients not just for plants but for humans as well.
Significance of Phytonutrients in Human’s Health
Some of the main benefits of phytonutrients include:
1. Anti-cancer properties
Various studies have shown that phytonutrients can be used as a therapeutic tool in treating cancer stem cells or CSCs. Researchers have found that a number of phytochemicals are targeting the CSCs. Some of the anti-cancer phytochemicals include B-carotene, resveratrol, lycopene, curcumin, piperine, and much more.
2. Anti-inflammatory properties
Different types of phytonutrients such as flavan-3-ols and proanthocyanidins aid in the reduction of inflammation caused by varying diseases. These phytochemicals are found in grapefruit extracts, wine, cocoa, and cranberries.
When you have enough phytochemicals in your body, you can enhance your immune system and avoid bacterial infections.
As an antioxidant, the phytochemicals will identify and remove free-radicals in the body that can be damaging to your cells, DNA, and proteins within your system.
5. Immune booster
Phytonutrients will boost your immune function; hence, you are less prone to developing an infection and other diseases. In addition, there is also faster healing whenever you get sick.
Different Kinds of Phytonutrients and Their Sources
The different types of phytonutrients are grouped according to their function s as well as their structure.
Terpenes – These phytochemicals are found in grains, soy products, and some fruits and vegetables.
Thiols – You can get this substance from cruciferous vegetables as well as in garlic and onions.
Phenols – Berries have the highest phenol content. Other fruits containing this substance include citrus varieties, peaches, apples, grape, cherries, and plums.
Indoles – This component interacts with vitamin C to provide varied health benefits such as superior cell nourishment. It also aids in hormonal balance and more.
Phytosterols – You can get this compound from yellow and green vegetables.
The importance of phytonutrients is something that we should not take for granted. If you want to be healthy, aside from vitamins and minerals, you should also include phytonutrients in your daily diet. If you don’t regularly consume fruits and vegetables, you can take supplements such as Amazon Thunder - Organic Supplements so you can still be healthy.
These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to treat, diagnose, or cure any diseases.