Phytochemicals are components of vegetables, fruits, potatoes, legumes, nuts and whole grain products. They give plant based foods their colour and aroma, serve as antibodies against parasites and diseases, and regulate plant growth.
There are more than 100‘000 different phytochemicals, of which an estimated 5‘000 to 10‘000 come from food. Depending on the diet, approximately 1 to 1,5g of phytochemicals are absorbed by the body during meals.
Phytochemicals are attributed to having beneficial effects on human health. For example, they can have an anti-inflammatory effect, as well as help to lower blood pressure and cholesterol. The exact role and influence of phytochemicals on the human body has yet to be researched. For this reason, there are no formal recommendations for their daily intake.
Phytochemicals are classified according to their chemical structures and modes of action. They are identified as carotenoids, flavonoids, glucosinolates, monoterpenes, polyphenols, phytoestrogens, phytosterols, saponins and sulphides