Phytochemicals,non-nutrient compounds, located in whole (non-processed) plant foods that promote beneficial biological activities in the body. These chemicals have profound anti-cancer effects in the body because the play a role in the prevention of free radical damage, healthy hormone levels, and suppression of diseases. These powerful compounds are not only used to reduce the risk of cancer in the body, but are often used in cancer treatment as well. Below is a list of phytochemical compounds that play a role in cancer prevention and treatment.
This popular and powerful anti-oxidant can be found in blueberries, grapes, red wine, and peanuts. Resveratrol inhibits oxidative damage caused by heavy metals, UV radiation and other environmental toxins. This compound influences normal transcription of genes, thereby inhibiting the ability of cancer cells to replicate.
Phytic acid is a compound found in whole grains which binds to minerals and prevents the formation of free radicals. Scientific evidence has found that phytic acid also plays a role in cellular communication, growth and differentiation which results in the reduction of tumor growth.
Lycopene is a pigment found in orange, red and pink fruits such as tomatoes, grapefruits, apricots, and watermelon. These compounds are antioxidants that have been found to inhibit the growth of cancer cells. Tomatoes, in particular, have been found to offer protection against cancer in the throat, lungs, prostate, and stomach.
Alfalfa sprouts, leafy green vegetables, potatoes and tomatoes are all excellent sources of the phytochemical saponin. This compound plays a role in DNA replication and may prevent cancer cells from multiplying. Saponins are also an important compounds for stimulating a healthy immune response in the body.