Sunday, 6 January 2013

Zeroing in on superfoods nutrients: Phytochemicals




Phytochemicals are plant chemicals that offer a variety of health benefits, and all our plant-based superfoods are rich in phytochemicals. There are several different types of phytochemicals;


Polyphenols: 

are a family of related phytochemicals that includes bioflavonoids, tannins, and lignans.

 Bioflavonoids:

Are produced in plants and include some of the pigments found in red, blue, purple, and   black fruits, vegetables, and legumes. Bioflavonoids like quercetin, anthrocyanadins, and catechins help to reduce inflammation, protect your heart, and reduce your risk of some cancers.

Tannins:

Are found in tea and red wine. Tannins may help to keep your digestive system healthy.

Lignans:

Are found in the cell walls of plants and have hormone-like properties. Flax and soy are particularly rich in lignans and may help to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Carotenoids:

Are related to vitamin A and are found in red, yellow, and orange pigments. Examples include beta-carotene, lycopene, and lutein. The carotenoids may help to keep your vision healthy, bolster your immune system, and reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease and some cancers.

Phytosterols:

Are the plant equivalent of cholesterol. However, unlike the cholesterol found in animal products, phytosterols are good for you. Some phytosterols, such as beta-sitosterol, help to reduce the symptoms
of an enlarged prostate and are effective for keeping your cholesterol levels in check.

Not every superfood fruit or veggie has all the phytochemicals you need. Eat a variety of superfoods to be sure you get all the different phytochemicals.


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