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MD Anderson Cancer Center Article

 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

JANUARY 2017 : PHYTOCHEMICALS AND CANCER: WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW

 

Phytochemicals and cancer: What you should know

Phytochemicals are compounds in plant foods that can help prevent chronic diseases like cancer.

BY KELLIE BRAMLET

 You may not have heard of phytochemicals, but it’s likely you eat them every day.

Phytochemicals, also called phytonutrients, are the potentially helpful compounds found in plant foods. They may help prevent chronic diseases, including cancer.

These can be found in vegetables, fruits, beans, grains, nuts and seeds. But the type and amount of phytochemicals in different plants varies. No single plant food can protect you from disease. You can get the most protection by eating a variety of plant foods.

More research is needed to determine how phytochemicals work. What most researchers agreed on is the benefits.

Potential benefits of phytochemicals include:

  • Strengthening the immune system
  • Reducing inflammation
  • Preventing DNA damage and helping DNA repair.
  • Slowing cancer cell growth
  • Regulating hormones
  • Preventing damaged cells from reproducing

 



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