The Phytochemicals are substances with antioxidant and protective benefits found mainly in plant foods. They consist of substances which, although not essential nutrients for life, do have positive health effects, being biologically active.
There are different types of phytochemicals: phenols (flavonoids, anthocyanins and isoflavones), lignans, terpenes (carotenoids, beta carotene and lycopene), and thiols.
In relation to the most important benefits that provide the phytochemicals, we find that they help to protect cellular health, by blocking the action of carcinogens compounds, toxins and mutagens, favoring its elimination, preventing these substances can reach the critical duty station in the interior of cells.
On the other hand, promote cardiovascular health by preventing oxidation of fats intensity of LDL, reducing the synthesis and use of cholesterol, affecting blood pressure and coagulability.
Where to find phytochemicals?
If you want to increase your dietary consumption of foods rich in phytochemicals, then we indicate where to find them:
Phenols: blackberries, raspberries, berries, apples, broccoli, red and yellow onions, red grapes, soy and other legumes.
Lignans: oats, barley, wheat bran and flaxseed.
Terpenes: pumpkin, melon, mango, papaya, spinach, broccoli, tomato, carrot and grapefruit.
Thiols: cabbage, cauliflower, onions, leeks, broccoli and Brussels sprouts.
In this long list we must also mention other plant foods like mushrooms, herbs and spices.
As we see, fundamentally we found phytochemicals in most plant foods. Therefore, if we want to increase their consumption the key is to add to our daily diet.