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March 20, 2016 | Author: | Posted in health and medicine, nutrition

Phytochemicals : The Fighter Chemical

Like all other living things , plants have natural protections against its surroundings . Phytochemicals are chemicals produced by plants to shield themselves against extreme wind , heat , and other conditions Years of thorough studies proved that they contribute to protecting the human form . According to Top Cultures (n .d , they do hot have any nutritional value but they are known for preventing many serious illnesses and bodily irregularities . However , the human body does not necessarily require phytochemicals for sustenance

Phytochemicals are grouped into three major classes – terpenes , phenols [banner_entry_middle]

and thiols (Nutri-Fruit , 2006 . Terpenes are known for its medicinal benefits . Menthol , a terpene from mint varieties , is known for its pain-relieving properties . This is widely used in ointments , and even candies . Taxol , a diterpene from the yew plant , is used to fight cancer Carotenoids , popular in carrots , is known to help prevent aging Lycopene , a terpene found in tomatoes and tomato products , helps ease cancers and heart diseases (Lycopene .org , 2006

Phenols are often likened to alcohol , but they are actually of a more acidic kind . Isoflavones , a phenol found in soybeans and soy products decreases the risk of heart diseases , cancer , and osteoporosis Flavonoids , found in citrus fruits , have anti-oxidant properties that also decrease the risk of cancer and degenerative diseases (PCC Natural Markets , 2006 . Isoflavones and flavonoids are among the more popular varieties of phytochemicals as they are available even through processed goods such as soy sauce , soymilk , and citrus juices

Thiols , found in garlic , onions , and coffee , helps prevent heart diseases and cancers (2line .com , n .d . Garlic itself is popular among heart patients as they are a known cure against hypertension and too much cholesterol

Phytochemicals are present in almost all food items , but it is recommended that its consumption be proportional to one ‘s intake of nutrients , phytochemicals being non-nutritive

Phytochemicals and Cancer

Like any nutrients , phytochemicals are beneficial to health , but its intake should be balanced with other minerals that the body needs for sustenance and daily living . The body needs other minerals , vitamins and nutrients just as it needs the relief brought by phytochemicals

Phytochemicals are famous for its cancer-defending benefits . Among the phytochemical classes that fend off several kinds of cancer are carotenoids , flavonoids , thiols and isoflavones (Keane and Chace , 2006

Carotenoids , such as beta carotene , is known to suppress the growth of tumors . Another variant , the alpha carotene , is also effective even against established cancers . Flavonoids like quercetin block the production of prostaglandin E2 series , which fails a cancer patient ‘s immunity . Garlic and substances of its kind , which contains thiols kills bacteria and viruses . Isoflavones , found in soy products , reduces the risk of cancer by 40 as it has phytoesterols , effective against cancers by lowering cholesterols in the body and decreasing the growth of cancer cells (Keane and Chace , 2006

The therapeutic properties of phytochemicals make food items containing it recommended for cancer patients . Because phytochemicals are readily available in many common food items – fruits , vegetables , and by-products – it… [banner_entry_footer]

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