Year: 2018 | Month: December | Volume 8 | Issue 2
Health Promoting Phytochemicals in Vegetables: A Mini Review
Phytochemicals are naturally occurring chemical compounds found in plants that provide health benefits for humans. Generally the phytochemicals are produced as a result of various metabolic reactions in the plants. They play an important role in protecting plants from environmental hazards such as stress, drought and pathogenic attack etc. They also contribute to plant colour, aroma and flavour. Phytochemicals are broadly described as polyphenols, flavonoids, isoflavonoids, anthocyanidins, phytoestrogens, terpenoids, carotenoids, limonoids, phytosterols, glucosinolates and fibers. Majority of foods, such as whole grains, beans, fruits, vegetables and herbs contain varied types and amounts of phytochemicals. Among these, fruits and vegetables contribute to the significant sources of phytochemicals. Phytochemicals have tremendous impact on the health care system and may provide medical health benefits including the prevention and treatment of diseases and physiological disorders. Foods containing these phytochemicals are known as functional foods which play an increasingly important role in the treatment of various chronic diseases. Hence, phytochemicals are potentially involved as protective compounds for a number of chronic diseases and also used as good health food.
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