There are many reasons to enjoy a whole foods plant-based diet. And high on the list of eye-catching colorful reasons are phytochemicals!
The word ‘phytochemical’ literally means phyto (plant) – chemical. From the deep blue hue of blueberries to the pungent aroma of garlic, phytochemicals help give plants their distinctive colors, smells, tastes and other organoleptic (sense engaging) properties.
Phytochemicals also help indicate the health of a plant, when it is ready to be eaten and which nutrients may be present. These are all ways in which plants advertise to those that may spread their seeds (pollinators and hungry animals/insects) that they are a food source worth paying attention to.
“It is thought that phytochemicals, vitamins, minerals, and fiber, all present in fruits and vegetables, work synergistically in whole foods to promote health and lower disease risk. For this reason, many authoritative organizations, such as the National Cancer Institute and The American Heart Association, recommend getting phytochemicals from whole foods, such as fruits and vegetables, rather than from supplements.” – Produce for Better Health Foundation (PBH)
Next: Health benefits of the Blue food group and more!