HomeHealthPhytochemicals: plant substances that take care of our health
Phytochemicals: plant substances that take care of our health
March 11, 2020
Its origin comes from the word phyto, which means plant. It is that phytochemicals are chemical substances produced by the plant to defend against the attack of viruses, bacteria, fungi, insects, drought and intense solar radiation. These same substances are what also give the color, aroma, flavor and texture to the plant.
Just as they are good for plants, they are also good for our health.
Incorporating foods rich in phytochemicals helps our body to delay aging processes and protect against various diseases, especially those related to the cardiovascular system, hypertension, cancer, cataracts, osteoporosis and urinary infections.
On the other hand, part of its properties and beneficial to health, come from its interaction with dietary fiber. Hence the importance of increasing the consumption of fruits, vegetables and other foods from the plant kingdom.
WHERE DO WE FIND THEM?
Phytochemicals are widely distributed in nature. Let's see where we can find them:
Dried fruits and seeds
They are rich in lignans and phenolic compounds, two members of the phytochemical family with high antioxidant powers. They contribute to lower cholesterol levels, protect the arteries from clot formation, regulate blood pressure, increase the body's defenses, prevent against certain types of cancer and delay cell aging.
We find them in nuts, hazelnuts, almonds, cashews or cashews, pistachios, peanuts, flaxseed, sunflower and sesame.
It is rich in flavonoids and beta carotenes that, in addition to giving it its intense color, give it anti-cancer, antioxidant and immune system-strengthening properties.
Like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts and turnip. They stand out for their content in sulfur compounds, carotenoids and flavonoids, which have a protective role against cancer. For example, the consumption of broccoli helps prevent breast cancer.
Garlic and onion
They are rich in allicin, sulfur compounds and flavonoids that also contribute to preventing the formation of clots in the arteries, lowering cholesterol levels, improving blood circulation and strengthening defenses.
Specifically, allicin has antiseptic properties and is protective against candida infections, escherichia coli and staphylococus aureus. The action of crushing or crushing garlic cloves helps to maximize allicin.
It is rich in phytoestrogens and is traditionally used to relieve symptoms of menopause, since these compounds act similarly to the estrogens produced by our own body.
It has countless properties, highlighting the antioxidant potential of its flavonoids, which contribute to the prevention of cancer.
Grapes and wine
They are rich in resveratrol, an antioxidant compound that helps keep blood cholesterol levels stable, inhibits the formation of cancer cells and better brain function.