English articles on HealthGeneral Health Articles

What are phytochemicals

Phytochemicals are substances produced by plants to protect their bodies from harmful substances such as ultraviolet rays and insectsAlthough phytochemicals are not essential nutrients, they have been shown to have positive effects on the body, making them important ingredients that should be taken in order to maintain good health.

Health effects of taking phytochemicals

One of the most promising health benefits of phytochemicals is their antioxidant capacity.

Humans use oxygen during respiration, but part of the oxygen taken in becomes active oxygen and free radicals, which easily react with components in the body. Active oxygen and free radicals react with proteins to impair their functions, oxidize lipids to produce lipid peroxides, and cause genetic damage. It is thought to cause habitual diseases 3).

The body also has a mechanism to prevent oxidation caused by active oxygen and free radicals, and it is expected that taking antioxidant substances will prevent oxidation and reduce the risk of aging and various diseases.

Phytochemicals in focus

We will explain polyphenols, carotenoids, and sulfides that are attracting attention among phytochemicals. Table 1 shows the main types of phytochemicals and the main foods that contain them.

Table 1: Major phytochemicals of note1
kinds Main foods containing
Anthocyanins blueberries, grapes
Isoflavones soy
Flavones celery, parsley, bell pepper
Flavanols (catechins) green tea, fruits, cacao
Flavonols broccoli, onion
Flavanones citrus peel
carotenoid α-carotene carrots, pumpkin
beta-carotene carrots, pumpkins, tomatoes
β-cryptoxanthin mandarin orange, spinach
Lycopene tomato, watermelon
lutein spinach, broccoli
Zeaxanthin pumpkin, corn, peach
Sulfur-containing compounds isothiocyanate Japanese radish, wasabi
Cysteine ​​sulfoxide system onion, cabbage


Polyphenols are representatives of phytochemicals with antioxidant properties. Anthocyanins contained in red wine and blueberries, catechins contained in tea, and chlorogenic acid contained in coffee are all polyphenols and are known to have strong antioxidant properties in the human body.


In addition, carotenoids are phytochemicals that are fat-soluble, while polyphenols are water-soluble. Carotenoids include β-carotene, which is found in carrots and pumpkins, as well as lycopene, which is abundant in tomatoes, and lutein, which is found in spinach and broccoli.

Sulfur-containing compounds

In addition to phytochemicals with antioxidant properties, we should pay attention to isothiocyanate contained in radish and wasabi, and cysteine ​​sulfoxide contained in onions and cabbage. These compounds contain sulfur and are characterized by a pungent and pungent odor. These phytochemicals have antioxidant effects, but also have effects such as promoting blood circulation and blood flow, strong antibacterial effects, and activating detoxification enzymes in the liver and digestive tract.

Other phytochemicals

In addition, saponin, which is an astringent component of soybeans, has an antioxidant effect and also has the effect of lowering blood lipids and cholesterol. In addition, terpenes, which are fragrant ingredients such as herbs, also have antioxidant effects.

Foods rich in phytochemicals

Phytochemicals are “chemical substances contained in plants”, so naturally they are ingredients contained in plant foods. It is mainly involved in the bitterness, astringency, pungency, and pigments of plants, so it is often contained in plant foods that are brightly colored or have a unique flavor.

Table 1: DPPH radical scavenging activity (Trolox equivalent: μmol/100g)
food DPPH radical scavenging activity (Trolox equivalent: μmol/100g)
Cucumber 23
Komatsuna 170
White gourd 19
Zucchini 28
Japanese radish (Asao radish) 49
Tomato 43
Nozawana 133
Broccoli 388
Spinach 107
Mizuna 177
Moroheiya 2685
(sweet corn)
Ohisama Cone 81
Sweet lady 173
Gold Rush 134
Taste coming 131
Andean thread 31
Kita Akari 80
Baron 61
Digima 55
Make-in 52

Many phytochemicals are marketed as dietary supplements. However, instead of ingesting large amounts of specific phytochemicals, it is important to eat a well-balanced diet with a variety of foods rather than supplements so that you can ingest as many types of phytochemicals as possible. will do.

There are about 1,500 phytochemicals that have been identified. It is speculated that there are still many things that have not been clarified, and future research is expected.


Welcome to my blog. My name is Muhammad Hassaan. I am a blogger and have a knowledge of five years of blogging. I also belong to the field of health as a D pharmacy student. That's why I am running this health blog. I am very much interested to read articles on health and love to share information with other people and also get information from them. If you have any questions you can ask me through the contact us page. Thanks for Visiting us and Have a great day.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button