Foods rich in phytochemicals

The phytochemicals they are substances with antioxidant and protective benefits that we find mainly in foods of vegetable origin. They consist of substances that, although they are 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 (carotenes, beta carotenes and lycopene), and thiols.

In relation to the most important benefits that phytochemicals provide, we find that they help protect cell health, by blocking the action of carcinogenic compounds, toxins and mutagens, favoring their elimination, preventing these substances from reaching the critical places of destiny inside the cells.

On the other hand, they favor cardiovascular health by preventing the oxidation of low intensity lipoprotein fats (known as LDL cholesterol), reducing the synthesis and use of cholesterol, affecting blood pressure and coagulability.

Where to find phytochemicals

If you want to increase the consumption of foods rich in phytochemicals in your diet, here is where to find them:

  • Phenols: berries, raspberries, berries, apples, broccoli, red and yellow onions, red grapes, soybeans and other legumes.
  • Lignans: oats, barley, wheat bran and flax seeds.
  • Terpenes: pumpkin, melon, mango, papaya, spinach, broccoli, tomato, carrot and grapefruit.
  • Tioles: cabbage, cauliflower, onion, leeks, broccoli and Brussels sprouts.

In this long list we must also mention other plant foods such as mushrooms, herbs and spices.

As we see, fundamentally we find phytochemicals in most foods of vegetable origin. Therefore, if we want to increase their consumption, the key is to add them daily to our diet.

Image | Martin Cathrae This article is published for informational purposes only. You can not and should not replace the consultation with a Nutritionist. We advise you to consult your trusted Nutritionist.

What are Phytochemicals or Phytonutrients? (December 2021)