Phytochemicals are active compounds that come from plants that are rich in antioxidant properties. It is these chemicals that give plants their odor, color and flavor like the bitter taste of broccoli and garlic’s pungent smell. These are referred to as phytonutrients and there are about 4,000 of them. They include antioxidants, flavonoids, flavones, isoflavones, catechizes, isthiosyanates, carotenoids, allyl sulfides, polyphenols, anthocyanidins. There are better ways to get phytochemicals into your diet, as shown in the chart below.

The following chart describes the six phytonutrients best understood:*

Benefits: Immune System,
Vision, Skin Health, Bone Health
Pumpkin, sweet potato, carrots, winter squash, cantaloupe, apricots, spinach, collard greens kale, broccoli. Orange and dark leafy vegetables
Benefits: Prostate cancer, heart health
Tomatoes, pink grapefruit, red peppers, watermelon, tomato products
Benefits: Eye health, cancer, heart health
Collard greens, kale, spinach, broccoli, brussels sprouts, lettuces, artichokes. Lutein is found in the retina.
Benefits: health health, cancer, lung health, inflammation
Red wine, peanuts, grapes. A cup of red grapes can have 1.25 mg of resveratrol.
Benefits: Blood vessel health
Blue berries, plums cranberries, raspberries, red onions, red potatoes, red radishes, strawberries
Benefits: Menopause, breast cancer, bone health, joint inflammation, lower cholesterol
Soybeans. 1/2 cup of boiled soybeans contains 47 mg of isoflavones

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*The above chart comes form the Produce for Better Health Foundation (PBH) which is a consumer education foundation with the goal of motivating people to eat more fruits and vegetables to improve the public’s health. See more at

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