All about Phytonutrients


Phytonutrients are natural plant chemicals and nutrients, found in fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts and legumes. They naturally protect their plants against viruses, bacteria, and fungi. As a result, they act as scavengers of free radicals in our cells, slow the aging process, strengthen the immune system, and reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease. 

Cooking and processing can destroy the phytonutrients in foods. Some remain in cooked foods, but the best way to get them in their most useful form is to eat raw or slightly steamed. The optimal function of any of these phytochemicals depends on the other chemicals normally found along with them. That's why vitamins and minerals taken by themselves sometimes just doesn't seem to work, they should be taken with whole foods for effective use. 

Phytonutrients are present in: 

Flax seeds, a good source of Omega-3 fats, lowers cholesterol and can inhibit the growth of estrogen-stimulated breast cancers. 

Citrus fruits, as they contain phytochemicals with anti tumor and antioxidant properties. 

Red wine and grape juice, as they contain phenols and red anthocyanins that protect against heart disease.

Garlic and onions, as they are rich in allylsulfides, which reduce cancer risk and blood clotting.

Green tea, as it has antioxidant flavonoids called Catechins.