Any substance that may be considered a food or part of a food that provides
health benefits, including the prevention or treatment of disease. They range
from isolated nutrients to genetically engineered "designer foods".
Phytochemicals in Fruits & Vegetables
Beta Carotene: Found in Green, yellow orange & red fruits and vegetables such
as carrots, pumpkins, spinach, squash, watermelon, asparagus, broccoli, and cantaloupe.
Beta Carotene's possible benefits include reduced risk of cataracts, coronary artery disease, and breast cancer; enhances immunity for the elderly.
It is also a precursor to vitamin A (retinol). If the body is in need Beta Carotene converts to vitamin A. If the body has enough vitamin A Beta Carotene acts as
an antioxidant protecting cells from free radicals.
Note--Large amounts of Beta Carotene supplements have been found to increase lung cancer in men who smoked and drank.
Capsaicin is the source of heatfound in chili peppers.
Possible benefits include reduced risk of colon, gastric and rectal cancers; inhibits
tumor growth. May significantly reduce chronic, debilitating nerve pain
associated with a range of diseases when used in high doses.
Catechin found in green and black tea, berries, apples, and chocolate. Possible benefits include increased immune function; decreased cholesterol production.
Cynarin found in Artichokes. The highest concentrations in the leaves.
Possible benefits include Lower Cholesterol levels. It also possesses a choleretic
(bile stimulating) effect which is very important in adequate transport to the
gallbladder decreasing liver damage.
Ellagic Acid found in wine, grapes, currants, pecans, red raspberries, strawberries
Possible benefits: reduces cancer riskfor breast, pancreas, esophageal, skin, colon
and prostate cancer cells; inhibits carcinogen binding to DNA; reduces LDL
cholesterol while increasing HDL cholesterol.
Indoles found in cruciferous vegetables - cabbage, broccoli Brussels sprouts,
spinach, cauliflower,watercress, turnip, kohlrabi, kale, rutabaga, horseradish,
Possible benefits: stimulates enzymes that make estrogen less effective, a potential
help in fighting breast cancer.
Isothiocyanates (ITCs) Found in Brussels sprouts cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli
and other cruciferous vegetables.
Possible benefits include reduced risk of tobacco-induced tumors. They also have
a protective effect on cancers of the gastrointestinal and respiratory tracts.
Ligins found in: high fiber foods (especially seeds) Benefits include: reduced risk
of colon cancer; reduced blood glucose and cholesterol.
Lycopene carotenoid is a powerful antioxidant that has shown remarkable
fighting power against degenerative diseases.
Found in tomatoes, and tomato products, grapefruit, guava, apricots, Watermelons
Other possible benefits: reduces risk of prostate cancer; may reduce risk of cardiovascular disease.
Monterpene Limonene is an antioxidant found in citrus peel and membrane, mint,caraway, thyme, coriander, lemon grass oil.
Possible benefits include reduced risk of skin and breast cancer; reduced cholesterol
production; reduce premenstrual symptoms.
Phenolic Acid found in cruciferous vegetable, eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, celery, parsley, soy, flaxseed, citrus, whole grains, cherries, berries.
Possible benefits: fights cancer through nitrosamine formation.
Polyacetylene found in parsley, carrots, celery. Possible benefits: Fights tobacco induced tumors.
Organosulfur compounds found in alliums (garlic, onions, leeks, chives) watercress, cruciferous vegetables.
Possible benefits include reduced risk of gastric, colon, and lung cancers; inhibited
tumor promotion; reduced cholesterol; lower blood pressure.
Quercitin may be the strongest of natures anti-inflammatories.
have shown it effective in treating a wide range of prostate related problems.
in pear and apple skins, peppers, kohlrabi, tomatoe leaves, onions, wine, grape
juice problems. Other possible benefits: antioxidant; decreased Platelet aggregation.
Sulforaphane found in sprouts, broccoli, radish, horseradish, mustard greens.
Possible benefits: inhibit tobacco-related carcinogens from binding DNA
Sources: Arizona Cancer Center, PMA, National Cancer Institute, The Packer
North American Blueberry Council