Phyto- Greek word for plants
Phytochemicals or Phytonutrients are the
biologically active, naturally occurring substances
in plants that have protective or disease
They act as natural defense mechanisms in their
host plants. They also provide pigment to the
They are nonessential nutrients, meaning that
they are not required by the human body for
So far, scientists know of 3,000 different
phytochemicals with possible health benefits.
Tomatoes and Watermelons
Phytochemical found: Lycopene
Lycopene has been found to be 2 times as
powerful as beta carotene (Vitamin A) in the
destruction of free radicals.
Onions, Garlic, Scallions, Chives
Phytochemicals Found: Allium compounds
They help to keep healthy cells in the body
from being damaged by free radicals.
Grapes, Strawberries, Cranberries, Nuts,
Phytochemicals found: Ellagic Acid
Appears to make blood less likely to clot
therefore is beneficial in preventing heart
May help to prevent cancer.
Green Tea- contains high levels of flavonoids.
Shuts off the formation of cancer cells
Turns up the body’s defense system and
suppresses cancer advancement.
Green Tea has also been indicated to lower
LDL cholesterol and increase HDL in large
Antioxidant activity: by carotenoids (fruits,
carrots), flavonoids (fruits, vegetables),
polyphenols (tea, grapes).
Hormonal action: by isoflavones, found in
Stimulation of enzymes: by indoles, which are
found in cabbages
Anti-bacterial effect: by the phytochemical
allicin from garlic.
Some phytochemicals have been found to
lower LDL cholesterol.
Saponins found in beans interfere with the
replication of cell DNA
• Antioxidants are the chemical substances that
prevent or repair damage to cells caused by
oxidizing effect of free radicals such as
reactive oxygen, pollutants, ozone etc.
• A study in 2006 by Thompson HJ showed that
a botanical diversity of fruits and vegetables
plays a role in the biological effect of
• Free radicals- are byproducts of metabolism.
They are capable of causing cells to lose their
structure, function and eventually destroying