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Definition of Phytonutrient

Phytonutrients: The active health-protecting

Currently, the terms "phytonutrient" and "phytochemical" are being used interchangeably to describe those plant compounds which are thought to have health-protecting qualities.

The antioxidant, immune boosting and other health promoting properties of active compounds in plants are being investigated. Fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, tree nuts and teas are sources of phytonutrients. Some of the common classes of phytonutrients include: Carotenoids, Flavonoids (Polyphenols), including Isoflavones (Phytoestrogens), Inositol Phosphates (Phytates), Lignans (Phytoestrogens), Isothiocyanates and Indoles, Phenols and Cyclic Compounds, Saponins, Sulfides and Thiols, and Terpenes.

Source: MedTerms™ Medical Dictionary
http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=9476
Last Editorial Review: 10/30/2013

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