In many articles we have mentioned the phytonutrients, but we stopped neck to try to fund these important plant compounds. As deduce its name, the term phytonutrient includes a set of nutrients produced by plants, but are not considered essential for the processes of the body, contrary to what happens with vitamins, minerals , proteins or fats.
But even these natural compounds have great health benefits for people, which are increasingly investigated in order to be used in the pharmaceutical industry.
Benefits of phytonutrients for health
First, I must say that phytonutrients are compounds produced by plants for their own protection, so it is not surprising that these properties are also spreading in humans when consumed through fruits, vegetables or herbs.
And while this group of nutrients is made by many phytonutrients, of which only a minority has been investigated, have been classified into three categories, which in turn branch off into other subgroups. Namely, photochemical, herbs and spices, and medicinal herbs, which have found various and remarkable health properties, among which are the following.
Antioxidant properties of phytonutrients
This antioxidant property is present in virtually all the phytonutrients, allowing the body to protect cells from the action of free radicals and peroxides.
In this case highlights the phytoestrogens, which to have a similar structure to human estrogen, allowed to be used as a substitute for the latter to treat various problems such as osteoporosis and menopause.
Anti-cancer properties of phytonutrients
Some phytonutrients, such as capsaicin and saponin, have the power to inhibit cancer cell growth and DNA defends the agents that attack the tissue causing various types of cancer.
Especially important physiochemical have antibacterial properties, especially protecting the oral health and reducing the chance of infections occurs.
How to consume phytonutrients
It is estimated that only 2% of plant species on the planet have been investigated for scientific purposes, so there are still many phytonutrients and their respective benefits to be discovered.
Anyway, we have identified some of these nutrients in certain foods and classified as suitable for certain problems. The garlic as antibacterial, peppers to prevent carcinogens, pumpkin for phytosterols, flaconas in chamomile or isoflavones in soybeans.
The best way to consume abundant phytonutrients is to add fruits and vegetables to our diet, and use healthier spices and a medicinal plant from time to time.
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