In this section of Seattle Organic Restaurants I’m going to talk about phytochemicals. Many researchers and nutritionists have found out that diets that include lots of fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes reduce the chances of many diseases such as high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Scientists found out that foods high in antioxidants and foods that have specific minerals, vitamins and enzymes help to prevent cancer by protecting the cells against oxidation.
Now researchers found out that consuming “phytochemicals” help to fight against free radicals and toxins. Phytochemicals are active substances in plants that give them flavor and color. Phytochemicals fight with cancer by blocking several steps that leads to cancer. For example when a carcinogen molecule from the air you breathed or food you ate invades a cell, the phytochemicals in broccoli called “sulforaphane” reaches the cell and activates the enzymes that would throw the carcinogen out before any further harms.
There are many phytochemcials that prevent cancer in different ways. For example tomato by itself has about 10,000 different phytochemicals. Chlorogenic acid and P-coumaric acid in tomatoes stop chemicals that create carcinogen. Cauliflower and cabbage get rid of toxins and improve the body’s immune system.
Flavonoids found in fruits and berries keep carcinogen away from reaching cells. Research shows that specific phytochemcials are so effective in preventing cancer. Eating raw fresh fruits and vegetables is more effective than taking supplements that have limited number of phytochemicals, because there are many phytochemcials that haven’t yet been discovered. No supplements possibly could have all the phytochemcials that fight cancer like fresh fruits and vegetables. A well balanced raw or lightly cooked diet that contain phytochemicals, antioxidants, enzymes and micronutrients can promote health and reduce the chances of high blood pressure, adverse cholesterol level, diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease.