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Old 09-27-2005, 11:03 AM   #1
heavy hitter
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phytochemicals and antioxidants

Phytochemicals, Antioxidants
and Disease Prevention

Nutritional News
March 2002
By
Meghan Garrett
KSC Dietetic Intern
The review of 156 dietary studies revealed that fruit and vegetable consumption reduced the risk of cancer by 50%. Phytochemicals and antioxidants may be long, scientific names, but they are simply the substances in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and legumes that fight chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease. Phytochemicals are naturally occurring substances that act as natural defense systems in plants. Antioxidants are substances that prevent harmful molecules called free radicals from damaging the body's DNA. Free radicals may cause cancer, heart disease, and other chronic diseases.
Eat more of the following foods; they are loaded with phytochemicals and antioxidants:

Tomatoes 1 tomato: 26 calories, 0 g fat Technically a fruit, tomatoes are loaded with lycopene, an important antioxidant that helps fight cancer and gives tomatoes their red color. Tomatoes are also a great source of vitamin C.

Spinach 1 cup, cooked: 41 calories, 0 g fat Spinach is loaded with iron, folate and B vitamins. In addition, spinach contains two phytochemicals, lutein and zeaxanthin, which are important to eye health.

Nuts 1 oz: 150 calories, 12 g fat Although they are high in fat, nuts contain monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat (the good fats). When eaten in place of red meat and high fat junk food, nuts can help lower LDL (bad cholesterol) and increase HDL (good cholesterol). Nuts also contain vitamin E, an antioxidant that may help ward off heart disease and cancer. Unfortunately nuts are high in calories, be sure to eat them by the handful…not the bowlful!

Broccoli 1 cup, cooked: 44 calories, 0 g fat Broccoli is rich in vitamin C, fiber and a good source of calcium. It provides several phytochemicals that aid in the fight against cancer. Excessive cooking will destroy most of broccoli's important nutrients, be sure to cook light!

Blueberries 1 cup: 81 calories, 0 g fat It is possible that blueberries contain more antioxidants than any other fruit or vegetable. Anthocyanin is the phytochemical that puts the "blue" in blueberry. It is also a health-promoting compound that fights cancer and heart disease. Another blueberry benefit: like cranberries, they help prevent urinary tract infections by making it hard for bacteria to stick to the urinary tract walls.

Green tea In Asian societies, green tea is consumed in about the same quantity as coffee in the West. Population studies in China link green tea with a lower risk of stomach, esophageal and liver cancer. Polyphenol, a phytochemical in green tea, has been identified as the cancer-fighting agent. As an antioxidant, polyphenol is 100 times more potent than vitamin C.

These are just a few foods containing phytochemicals and antioxidants. There are actually about 2000 different phytochemicals found in food! To take full advantage of phytochemicals and antioxidants, be sure to include a variety of fruits, vegetables, and grains in your diet.
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Old 09-28-2006, 03:20 PM   #2
CokeNaSmilee
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bump. i think one thing alot of people neglect when looking at their diet from a long term helth point of view is.......variety. i read an artical talking about the diets of alot of old tribes in africa and old native indians of early america saying that their vegie intake was from over 100 diffrent kinds of vegitation. to me thats amazing when you look at what your limited to in the super market. thanks for the post HH.

this kind of great info is what makes me love spending countless hours reading on this board.
-Ant.
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Old 01-13-2007, 06:09 PM   #3
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This information never loses it's importance Heavy Hitter
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Old 09-17-2007, 04:38 PM   #4
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Blueberries rule they are great as antioxidants.
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