Phytochemicals in Carbs
- Carbohydrate Sources of Micronutrients in Plants
Phytochemicals - The New Micronutrients
Phytochemicals: Powerful Plant Nutrition
Phytochemicals are the newest group of micronutrients. They are biologically active compounds found in plant foods. The word "phytochemical" comes from the Greek word "phyto", meaning "plant." And since plants are largely made up of carbohydrate (like the complex carbohydrate, dietary fiber) phytochemicals and carbs are closely associated.
Phytochemicals are not classified as essential nutrients, because our diet does not require them to sustain life in the same way as vitamins or minerals. Even so, phytochemicals can play a vital role in our body's biochemistry, so they can be be seen as semi-essential micronurients.
Although no RDAs have been established for these chemical substances, nutrition scientists and medical researchers have discovered that they have potent disease-prevention and immunity-boosting qualities.
Here is a selection of the main phytochemicals, their carbohydrate-rich food sources and health benefits.
Some Phytochemicals - Food Sources and Health Benefits
(eg.Taxifolin, Rutin, Ellagic Acid, Quercetin)
(eg. Lycopene, Lutein, Capsanthin)
(eg.Sulphoraphane Sinigrin Isothiocyanate)
(eg. Isoflavones, Lignans)
Other phytochemicals include: Bromelain (from pineapples) has blood-thinning properties; Capsaicin (from chilies), is an antioxidant and pain-reliever; Chlorophyll (from wheat grass, seaweeds, dark green vegetables) has anti-cancer and antiradiation properties; Coumarins (from tomatoes, green peppers, strawberries, carrots) has blood-thinning benefits; Papain (from papaya) helps relieve pain; Resveratrol (from red grapes) helps protect against heart disease.
Carbs and Glycemic
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