Nutrition: An Approach to Good Health and Disease Management

Nutrition: An Approach to Good Health and Disease Management

Indexed in: EBSCO.

This book summarizes key information required for planning and implementing a healthy diet for patients based on sound nutritional concepts. Readers will find information on the background of ...
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Phytochemicals in Nutrition and Health

Pp. 201-243 (43)

Nicole A. Eggers and Esperanza J. Carcache de Blanco

Abstract

Some phytochemicals, or chemical compounds produced by or present in plants, may be nutritious for human consumption. Phytochemicals are not essential nutrients for humans, but they may contribute to preventing or treating diseases such as cancer, diabetes, diseases of the eye, and cardiovascular disease. In this chapter, some of the most important phytochemicals for human health and nutrition are detailed, along with their mechanisms of action, chemical structures, and specific health benefits. These health-promoting phytochemicals are present in familiar plant sources of fruits, vegetables, and legumes. The carotenoids in tomatoes, for example, are studied for anticancer effects and reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases. The proanthocyanidins in cranberries can prevent or treat urinary tract infections. The isoflavonoids in soybeans mimic hormones, which contribute to the possible effectiveness in some breast cancers. The sulfur-containing phytochemicals in broccoli and Brussels sprouts have potential anticancer effects. A few sulfur-containing compounds in garlic are very good antibacterial agents. The study of chemical compounds present in common edible plants, allows students to correlate nutrition to disease prevention or treatment by functional foods; perhaps this chapter even facilitates thinking about foods as drugs.

Keywords:

Aglycones, antioxidants, cancer, cardiovascular disease, carotenoids, chemical structures, chemopreventative agents, diabetes, eye diseases, flavonoids, glycosides, inflammation, natural colorants, obesity, organosulfur compounds, phytochemical index, phytochemicals, phytoestrogens, steroids, terpenoids.

Affiliation:

College of Pharmacy, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA.