7 Brearley Mews, Hillarys 6025

GLORIA CICCHINI
Naturopath Perth
Northern Suburbs
Hillarys 6025
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What have phytochemicals got to do with your health?

September 3, 2016

 

Phytochemicals are various biologically active compounds found in plants. Phytochemicals are associated with the colour pigment of the plant and each phytochemical has been researched to have different health benefits.  Organically grown plants tend to have higher levels of these health giving substances in them, due to the plants needing to fend for itself, rather than rely on a pesticide to deter different predators, or artificial fertilizers to feed it.  As a result to these stressors; the plant exerts an antioxidant defence mechanism, in the form of a phytochemical.

Research has linked  diets low in phytochemicals to obesity

More than half of the population is deficient in phytonutrients.  Research shows that we require at 9-15 serves of phytonutrient rich foods, in order to experience maximum health benefits.

 

Red Foods:

Red pigmented foods are rich in the phytochemicals lycopene, anthocyanins and astaxanthin.  These phytochemicals are related to the following health benefits:

 

*  Reduces cancer risk

*  Reduces risk of cardiovascular disease

*  Antioxidant

*  Reduces risk of Alzheimer's

*  Controls blood pressure

*  Reduces risks associated with diabetes

*  Supports liver function

*  Supports gut function

*  Promotes healthy immune function

 

You can find these phytonutrients in:

 

*  Tomato’s

*  Watermelon

*  Pink grapefruit

*  Guava

*  Raspberries

*  Cherries

*  Strawberries

*  Cranberries

*  Beetroot

*  Red apple

*  Red Cabbage

*  Red onion

 

Orange Foods:

 

 

Orange foods contain carotenoids such as betacarotene and bioflavonoids.  Betacarotene is safely converted into Vitamin A in the body and is associated with healthy vision, including night vision.  Betacarotene is concentrated in the corpus luteum of the ovaries and may be involved in ovulation.  Eating adequate amounts of orange pigmented foods, has a protective effect on your fertility.  

 

The health benefits associated with orange and yellow pigmented foods include:

 

*  Antioxidant

*  Healthy immunity

*  Reduces cancer risk

*  Reduces heart attack risk

*  Good vision

*  Maintains strong teeth and bones

*  Healthy skin

 

Foods rich in these phytonutrients:

 

*  Sweet potato

*  Pumpkin

*  Rockmelon

* Mango

* Apricot

* Peaches

* Oranges

* Grapefruit

* Lemon

* Tangerine

* Clemantines

* Papaya

* Nectarines

* Pears

* Pineapple

* Yellow raisins

* Yellow capsicum

 

Blue/Purple/Indigo foods:

 

 

Purple foods contain the phytochemicals anthocyanins and polyphenols.  This phytonutrient tends to be the one least plentiful in the standard western diet. When available, choose purple varieties of vegetables over conventional - buy purple cabbage instead of green.  Bioavailability of polyphenols is dependant on the microbiota in the gut, therefore tending to your microbiota by regularly taking a good probiotic and consuming foods rich in prebiotics which feed your good bacteria and promote biodiversity of the microbiota is very important if wishing to experience these health benefits:

 

*  Reduce your cancer risk

*  Antioxidant

*  Reduce risk of memory decline & Alzheimers

*  Controls blood pressure

*  Reduces risks associated with diabetes

*  Reduce your heart attack risk

*  Anti-ageing

 

Blue/Purple foods include:

 

*  Blueberries

*  Figs

*  Blackberries

*  Purple grapes

*  Black currants

*  Elder berries

*  Prunes

*  Raisins

*  Plums

*  Eggplant

*  Purple cauliflower

*  Purple sweet potato

*  Purple potato

*  Purple cabbage

*  Purple brussels sprouts

*  Purple corn

*  Purple carrots

*  Cocoa

*  Cinnamon

*  Tea

 

Green & Yellow Foods:

 

 

 

 Phytochemicals associated with green include lutein, zeaxanthin, indoles, chlorophyll, plant methylators, phytosterols, phytoestrogens and nitrates.  Health benefits include:

 

*  Healthy vision

*  Reduces risk of cataracts or macular degeneration

*  Reduces your cancer risk

*  Reduce tumour growth in cancer patients

*  Antioxidant

*  Methylation

*  Cell growth

*  Reduces cholesterol

*  Anti-inflammatory

 

Tips for getting more phytonutrients in your diet:

 

*  Include a big salad with your lunch every day

*  Serve vegetables every night with dinner

*  Have 2 vegetarian days every week

*  Drink green smoothies every day

*  Consume small amounts of dark chocolate

*  Drink tea - green teas benefits are seen by consuming just 2 cups per day

*  Have cut fruit and veggies available to snack on during the day

*  Make guacamole and eat it with veggie sticks as a snack

*  Eat a handful of nuts and seeds every day

 

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