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The Mighty Phytos Fight For You

Scientists have made one of the most exciting and significant nutritional discoveries in the world of herbs and foods, called phytochemicals.

Phytochemicals (or phytonutrients) are the latest weapons in the fight against disease. They aren't vitamins, minerals, fiber, amino acids or enzymes. They're better yet! They are the natural chemical compounds found in all plants that protect against disease and promote health -- and there are thousands of them!

The research results have the medical community so intrigued that the National Cancer Institute has launched a multimillion dollar project to study phytochemicals. Scientists have discovered 30 phytochemicals that might help prevent cancer. With the health prospects so encouraging, nutritionists and others are hopeful that studies will begin on human subjects.

Obtaining the nutritional benefits of phytochemicals is as easy as including herbs, fruits, vegetables and spices in your overall health plan. A few phytochemicals are available as supplements and more will be added each year. See the chart below for a small sampling of some of the powerful phytochemicals that have been identified.

Phytochemicals
Best Sources
Possible Benefits
Allylic Sulfides
Garlic, Onions & Scallions
Promotes production of anticancer enzymes
Capsaicin
Hot Peppers (Cayenne)
Prevents carcinogens from binding to DNA which can initiate cancer
Carotenoids
(Vitamin A precursors) Yellow, Orange & Dark Greens
Reduces the ability of carcinogen-treated cells to transform into malignant cells
Curcumin
Turmeric
Powerful antioxidant, may inhibit cancer at all stages
Flavonoids
Pycnogenol, Grape Seed, Green Tea & Cayenne
Powerful antioxidant, may prevent cancer
Genistein
Soy Products & Red Clover
Appears to block new blood vessels (in test tubes) that enable tumors to grow and spread
Indoles
Broccoli, Cabbage & Cauliflower
Promotes production of enzymes that inactivate estrogens, may have anticancer properties
Limonene
Citrus Fruit
Promotes production of anticancer enzymes
Lycopene
Tomatoes & Cranberries
Antioxidant, shows anticancer properties
Phenolic Acids
Parsley, Carrots, Whole Grains & Berries
Antioxidant, inhibits formation of nitrosamine, a carcinogen, and affects enzyme activity
Polyphenols
Green Tea
Antioxidant, promotes production of anticancer enzymes
Proanthocyanidins
Cat's Claw & Hawthorn
Antioxidant

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