Introduction to Phytochemicals

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  • Topic: Antioxidant, Lycopene, Nutrition
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Kritzel Resendez
General Chemistry 1412
6th period
Mr. R. C. Gonzales
May 16, 2011

Phytochemicals are substances found in foods of plant origin, biologically active, which are essential nutrients for life at least in the short term, but have positive effects on health. Found naturally in plants (fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts, seeds, mushrooms, herbs and spices). Phytochemicals are beginning to take into account in recent years, as they are discovering its health benefits, some of them and the most outstanding are protection against cancer since they act in the detoxification of drugs, toxins, carcinogens and mutagens as blockers or suppressors, neutralize free radicals, inhibit enzymes that activate carcinogens and induce detoxifying enzymes thereof. And cardiovascular protection since they prevent the oxidation of LDL, reduce the synthesis and use of cholesterol and blood pressure and affect coagulation, some other benefits are delayed aging and associated diseases. They also give color, aroma and flavor to food.

Phytochemicals or phytonutrients are the next generation of natural health supplements. They are helping to erase the line between food and medicine that had been drawn many years ago. Some studies are showing that as we move away from the diet of our ancestors, we succumb to "modern" diseases. You can see evidence of this in societies as groups living in remote villages in the mountains of the Andes, the Caucasus or in the Himalayas and still traditional dietary practices. It is reported that these people have extraordinary longevity and are virtually free of diseases such as cancer, heart disease and arthritis. Researchers have examined the epidemiological reality of modern societies for clues to the connection between diet and disease. Based on these studies, researchers have identified certain biochemical active ingredients that help the body maintain health and...
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