Maybe some of you have already read about phytochemicals in posts on our blog. Today we will explain what they are.

Phytochemicals are substances that only occur in plants. More precisely, phytochemicals can be formed exclusively by plants. They usually have a specific function and serve the plant, for example, as a protective, coloring or flavoring substance.

For us humans, phytochemicals are not essential, i.e. they are not necessary for our life. Nevertheless, they can have effects on our body. They are important for many metabolic processes and can also have health-promoting effects.

Possible effects of phytochemicals

These substances can be divided into different groups, which can have different influences on our body. Depending on the group, these plant substances can have the following effects, among others: sekundäre Pflanzenstoffe

  • anticarcinogenic (= preventing or at least delaying the development of cancer)
  • anti-inflammatory
  • antioxidant (= protecting against oxidative stress)
  • antimicrobial (= inhibiting the growth of microorganisms (e.g. bacteria))
  • neuroprotective (= protecting nerve cells from structural/functional defects)
  • cholesterol-lowering
  • immunomodulating (= influencing the immune system)
  • blood pressure influencing

It is important to mention at this point that these are possible effects. Phytochemicals should not be taken in isolated form, i.e. not as food supplements. Probably the effect of these substances is due to the interaction of all (or several) ingredients of a herbal food.

The German Society of Nutrition (DGE) recommends eating a varied and colorful diet and “a high intake of vegetables and fruits, including legumes and nuts, as well as whole grains, to ensure a good supply of phytochemicals.” [1]

We hope you were able to take something with you from this post. If you have any questions regarding phytochemicals, please feel free to contact us. We are happy to receive an email at j.fuschelberger@agrisan.at .

 

references

Koerber, K., Männle, T., Leitzmann, C. (2004): Vollwert-Ernährung : Konzeption einer zeitgemäßen und nachhaltigen Ernährung. Stuttgart: Haug, 71-81

https://www.dge.de/presse/pm/sekundaere-pflanzenstoffe-und-ihre-wirkungen-auf-die-gesundheit-farbenfrohe-vielfalt-mit-potenzial/ (Aufruf, am 12.1.2021)

[1] https://www.dge.de/wissenschaft/weitere-publikationen/fachinformationen/sekundaere-pflanzenstoffe-und-ihre-wirkung/#c1697 (Aufruf, am 12.1.2021)