What are phytochemicals?
Phytochemicals are natural chemicals that plants make which serve many different functions for the plants healthy life. They can help keep plants from getting diseases from invading bacteria’s or fungi, and they can repel pests. They supply a plant its colour eg lycopene in red tomatoes, its aroma like allicin in garlic, or its taste like menthol in mint leaves.
As well as these pleasant attributes, eating a higher intake of phytochemical rich foods such as colourful fruits, vegetables, herbs, pulses, spices and teas is associated with improved health. The international evidence for their health properties and other benefits is well documented. Wellbeing programmes highlight the importance of phytochemical rich diets, along with other lifestyle factors with guidelines from influential organisations. By concentrating these foods or extracted elements of these foods into nutritional supplements gives an opportunity to boost their beneficial health effects.
Potential properties of phytochemicals?
1. Antioxidant properties. The most quoted health attribute involves their antioxidant activity. A number of clinical studies have highlighted the antioxidant properties of phytochemicals.
2. Reducing inflammation. Another key healthy property of phytochemicals appears to be their ability to reduce inappropriate inflammation. It is now well established that inflammation is intimately involved in ourhealth. Inflammation is closely associated with oxidative stress.