In this section of Seattle Organic Restaurants, I’m going to talk about phytochemicals. Many researchers and nutritionists suggest that diets that include lots of fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes can lower the chances of many diseases such as high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Scientists believe that foods high in antioxidants and foods that have specific minerals, vitamins and enzymes can help to prevent cancer by protecting the cells against oxidation.
Researchers found out that consuming “phytochemicals” can help to fight against free radicals and toxins. Phytochemicals are active substances in plants that give them flavor and color. Phytochemicals can fight cancer by blocking cells that cause cancer. For example, when a carcinogen molecule from the air or food 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 can stop chemicals that create carcinogen. Cauliflower and cabbage can 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 really effective in preventing cancer. Eating raw fresh fruits and vegetables is more effective than taking supplements that have limited number of phytochemicals. Keep in mind there are many phytochemcials and micronutrinets that haven’t yet been discovered and only exist in raw forms of fruits and vegetables. No supplements could possibly 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.