Phytonutrients: Add Colors To Diet For Better Health
Dr Chidananda K N1*, Dr K Jagadeesh2
Fruits and vegetables are major constituents of our daily diet. They are important sources of carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, vitamins and minerals. Other than these ingredients they also contain bioactive substances called as phytonutrients or phytochemicals. Phytonutrients are also called as phytopigments as they provide color to the fruits and vegetables. The darker the fruit or vegetable,higher would be the Phytonutrients content. They can be classified in to five different color groups Red, Green, White, Orange/Yellow and Purple/ Blue. Unlike vitamins and minerals phytonutrients are not essential to life for development, but they have antioxidant property which protects against cell damage, improves immunity against bacterial and viral infections and decreases the development of chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases. They also have anticancer property which protects against cancers. They are used therapeutically in the treatment of certain medical illness. They do not have adverse effects when compared to allopathic drugs. They are also cost effective and hence reduce the health care cost. It is important to encourage people to consume adequate amount of phytonutrients in their daily diet. Pharmaceutical industries should also try to extract phytonutrients and make it available to people for consumption at reasonable cost .The present article is framed to give information regarding important phytonutrients, their sources and uses.
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