Phytochemicals are naturally occurring chemicals produced by plants that not only make for Instagram-worthy food photos, but they are also biologically active and can have beneficial disease-fighting power. Here are a few reasons to brighten your plate:
BRING ON THE BROCCOLI
Green veggies in the cruciferous family, like broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts, and bok choy are rich in a phytochemical called isothycyanates that may have anticancer properties. Some green foods like avocado, kiwi, and leafy greens are also high in vitamin C to help maintain bone, blood vessel, and skin health.
PICK PURPLE PRODUCE
Fruit and vegetables that are a blue-purple colour contain a pigment called anthocyanin. This heart healthy phytochemical are may help by reducing the formation of blood clots and supporting healthy blood pressure.
Purple produce varieties include eggplant (especially the skin), blueberries, blackberries, prunes, and pomegranates.
Red coloured foods like tomatoes, guava, watermelon, and grapefruit are loaded with lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that has been associated with a reduced risk of some cancers and protection against heart attacks. Tip: cooking your red foods will enhance the benefits of lycopene. Add an extra scoop of tomato sauce to your meal!
CRUNCH ON CARROTS
Phytochemicals called carotenoids give foods like carrots, apricots ,and mangos their fiery hue! Carotenoids have shown
to have some anti-obesity and antiinflammatory abilities. This phytochemical is also converted into vitamin A, aka the “Vision Vitamin”. Other sources of carotenoids are cantaloupe, winter squash, and sweet potatoes.