Best Health Advice - Start Consuming Phytonutrients Now


Want some seriously good health advise? Start consuming phytonutrients now.


Cravings and constant hunger are often signs that your diet is low in phytonutrients.


Even if this is not the case – phytonutrients are a powerful ally in the fight against degenerative disease.


Phytonutrients (aka phytochemicals, plant-based nutrients, non-traditional nutrients, secondary metabolites or a-nutrients) are bioactive plant-derived compounds.


When humans consume plants as part of our diet, these phytonutrients are associated with a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of the body. Phytonutrients play a positive role by maintaining and modulating immune function to prevent specific diseases. They also stimulate enzymes that help the body get rid of toxins. These more than 10,000 compounds can exert therapeutic properties such as immune system boosting, cholesterol lowering, cellular repair, and antioxidant, antihypertensive, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antimicrobial, anticarcinogenic, and antiviral effects.


Plants produce phytonutrients primarily for their own protection against various threats such as UV radiation, insects, and microbial infections. These compounds play crucial roles in the plant's ability to thrive and reproduce by defending against external hazards and stressors. Here are several reasons why plants produce phytonutrients:


Protection from UV radiation: Some phytonutrients, such as flavonoids and carotenoids, absorb ultraviolet light, protecting the plant cells from UV damage. This is crucial for plants that are exposed to direct sunlight for the majority of the day.


Defense against pathogens and pests: Phytonutrients can act as natural pesticides, deterring insects and other herbivores from eating the plant. They can also have antimicrobial properties that protect plants from bacterial, viral and fungal infections.


Stress resistance: Certain phytonutrients help plants withstand environmental stresses such as drought, extreme temperatures, and pollution. These compounds can enhance the plant's resilience by participating in stress response pathways.


Pollination and reproduction: Some phytochemicals contribute to the colour, aroma, and flavour of plants and their fruits, which can attract pollinators (like bees and birds) and aid in the plant's reproductive process. This ensures the continuation of the plant species.


Growth regulation: Phytonutrients can also play roles in plant growth and development by acting as growth regulators. They can influence processes like flowering, seed germination, and root growth.


Oxidisation in the body is a chemical reaction that produces free radicals. Free radicals are unstable atoms which lead to chain reactions in the body and damage cells and cause illness and ageing. The body’s natural defence and repair systems try to control the destruction caused by free radicals, however they can become less effective with age or chronic disease.


In laboratory studies, many phytochemicals act as antioxidants and exhibit an antioxidant effect on the body (they inhibit oxidation.) Antioxidants inactivate oxygen derived free radicals (by donating one of their own electrons) and therefore combat this oxidative damage. In essence, they mop up free radicals.


Because it is extremely important that our bodies have lots of antioxidants, our bodies produce (or should produce) a variety of them: glutathione, cysteine, alpha lipoid acid, coenzyme Q10 and melatonin. However, we can top up levels and have them ready for use by consuming foods rich in antioxidants.⁠⁠
The antioxidants that provide the most protection for human skin cells against sun damage are vitamins A, C and E as well as plant chemicals carotenoids and flavonoids. Research shows that when we ingest them, they become great scavengers of free radicals within our skin and elsewhere in the body.⁠⁠


Phytonutrients are generally classified according to their chemical structures, and major classes include phenolic and polyphenolic compounds, terpenoids, alkaloids and sulphur-containing compounds. Each has unique benefits and characteristics. These chemical structures are responsible for imparting colour, smell and taste as well as their therapeutic properties.


The exact number of phytonutrients is difficult to pin down because plants produce a vast and diverse array of these compounds, with estimates suggesting there are up to tens of thousands of different phytonutrients.


Here are ten of the most notable phytonutrients, representative of various categories, and their primary sources:

  1. Lycopene: A carotenoid found in tomatoes, watermelon, pink grapefruit, and papaya, known for its potential in reducing the risk of certain types of cancer, particularly prostate cancer.
  2. Beta-Carotene: Another carotenoid, present in carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach, and kale. It's a precursor to vitamin A and is associated with improved vision and immune function.
  3. Resveratrol: Found in red wine, grapes, and some berries, this compound has been linked to heart health and longevity, as well as anti-inflammatory effects.
  4. Quercetin: A flavonoid present in onions, apples, and berries, known for its antioxidant properties and potential to reduce inflammation, blood pressure, and allergy symptoms.
  5. Anthocyanins: A type of flavonoid that gives berries, red cabbage, and grapes their distinctive colours. They have antioxidant effects and may help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
  6. Sulforaphane: A glucosinolate found in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and kale, noted for its potential to support detoxification processes and exert anticancer effects. (PMID: 34184327)
  7. Isoflavones: Phytoestrogens found in soy products, which may have benefits for bone health, reduce menopause symptoms, and lower heart disease risk.
  8. Curcumin: The active compound in turmeric, recognized for its potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, and potential benefits in managing arthritis and metabolic syndrome.
  9. Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG): A powerful antioxidant found in green tea, associated with a lower risk of heart disease and certain types of cancer, as well as benefits for brain health.
  10. Catechins: Found in green tea, chocolate, and berries, these antioxidants may help improve cardiovascular and metabolic health.


Each of these phytonutrients has been the subject of significant research interest due to their potential health benefits. However, it's important to consume them as part of a varied and balanced diet to maximize their potential synergistic effects. The benefits of phytonutrients highlight the importance of plant-based foods in human nutrition.

Australia has unique biodiversity and significant native fruits, herbs and spices offering a diversity of phytonutrients.

With approximately 25,000 species of flora occurring here that are adapted to the harsh environment, there is a plethora of novel compounds awaiting research in the context of their medicinal and therapeutic properties. The key here is that we want these foods to be wild and naturally grown – intensive cultivation is not the answer.


You’ll find amazing natural health products containing phytonutrients HERE





Gupta C, Prakash D. Phytonutrients as therapeutic agents. J Complement Integr Med. 2014 Sep;11(3):151-69. doi: 10.1515/jcim-2013-0021. 


Monjotin N, Amiot MJ, Fleurentin J, Morel JM, Raynal S. Clinical Evidence of the Benefits of Phytonutrients in Human Healthcare. Nutrients. 2022 Apr 20;14(9):1712. doi: 10.3390/nu14091712.


The information provided on this website is for general informational purposes only and is not intended as, nor should it be considered a substitute for, professional medical advice. Do not use the information on this website for diagnosing or treating any medical or health condition. If you have or suspect you have a medical problem, promptly contact your professional healthcare provider.