The research shows that a plant can contain hundreds of phytochemicals (phytochemicals), which compounds to combat disease. It is these compounds which vegetables, fruits and seeds owe their color, taste and smell.
Quite ordinary foods - green beans, potatoes and apples - contain nutrients protect against cancer, atherosclerosis, depression, obesity, allergies and other diseases. Phytochemicals act as protective barriers: defend plants against insects, bacteria, viruses, ultraviolet and other hazards, occurring in the environment.
Fortunately for us, this protective role of phytochemicals is not confined to the plant world. They defend the human body against diseases. Many phytochemicals facilitates excretion of substances that may be dangerous, such as carcinogens, and probably protects DNA in cells from damage that may start the disease process.
Numerous phytochemicals stimulate immune cells and enzymes involved in fighting infections. Others favor the maintenance of hormonal balance, thus reducing the risk of symptoms of menopause, and certain hormone-dependent cancers like breast and prostate.
Very many phytochemicals act as anti-oxidants, thus suppress harmful free radicals (active atoms or atomic groups, which may cause oxidative), involved in the induction of various diseases.