What are some types of phytochemicals?

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Emilia Klapp
Nutrition & Dietetics

There are four main categories of phytochemicals: carotenoids, flavonoids, ellagic acid, and allium compounds:

  • Carotenoids such as beta-carotene, lycopene, and lutein protect fat cells, blood, and other bodily fluids from free radicals. They can be found in apricots, mangoes, papayas, watermelon, spinach, sweet potatoes, corn, red peppers, romaine lettuce, and tomatoes, to name a few sources.
  • Flavonoids such as resveratrol, hesperidin, anthocyanin, quercetin, and tangeritin act against inflammation and prevent platelets from sticking together. They also block the enzymes that raise blood pressure. They can be found in vitamin-C-rich foods such as apples, cherries, blueberries, grapefruit, oranges, plums, strawberries, broccoli, and kale.
  • Ellagic acid decreases cholesterol levels and is found in strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, kiwifruit, raspberries, currants, and red grapes. Strawberries especially have been found in studies to inhibit certain enzymes, reducing the inflammation process in the arteries.
  • Allium compounds protect the cardiovascular and immune systems. They are found in onions, scallions, leeks, chives, and garlic.

Continue Learning about Nutrition

Nutrition

Nutrition

Eating a variety of foods each day that are low in fat and calories ensures you get proper nutrition and nutrients like folate, magnesium and iron. Calcium, fiber, potassium and selenium are other nutrients essential for wellness, ...

growth, development, cell repair and disease prevention. Colorful foods, such as fruits and vegetables, are often the richest sources of nutrients. Taking a multivitamin once daily is a good way to supplement your diet.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.