Phytonutrients are bioactive compounds found in vegetables and fruits. They work together with vitamins, minerals, and fiber to promote good health. It is recommended that everyone eat at least 5 – 9 servings of fruits and vegetables per day. The lower amount for children and the higher amount for adults.
Research has proven that fruits and vegetables are powerful defenders of our health. Although phytochemicals are not yet classified as nutrients, they have been identified as containing properties for aiding in disease prevention. Phytochemicals are associated with the prevention and/or treatment of at least four of the leading causes of death: cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and hypertension.
Polyphenolic compounds are natural components of many plants. Sources rich in polyphenols include onions, apples, tea, red wine, red grapes, grape juice, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, cranberries, and some nuts.
Some of the common classes of phytonutrients include:
Isothiocyanates and Indoles