Kate Heyhoe

Kate's Global Kitchen


Phytochemicals in Everyday Foods

by Kate Heyhoe


A hot new nutritional topic is phytochemicals. Phytochemicals, the substances in plants that act to protect them, are now believed to have positive effects when ingested by humans.

Different food sources offer varying levels and types of benefits, according to Dr. Stephanie Beling, author of PowerFoods. She says some of the highest concentrations of beneficial phytochemicals are found in these common fruits and vegetables:


Carrots, tomatoes & sweet potatoes: antioxidant, cancer prevention

Citrus, onions, apples, grapes: antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogen

Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli: suppress tumor growth

Strawberries, apples, grapes, raspberries: neutralize cancer-causing chemicals

Whole grains, flaxseed, berries: antioxidant, protects against colon cancer and heart disease

Garlic, onions, leeks, chives: interferes with cancer causing enzymes, antibiotic

Soybeans, tofu: reduces risk of breast, ovarian and prostate cancer

Citrus fruits: anti-ulcer, interferes with carcinogens


This PowerFoods recipe uses carrots, scallions and red pepper along with udon noodles for a simple, tasty and healthy meal:

Udon and Vegetable Salad

Serves 8

Perk up your taste buds and your pasta with the combination of sesame, scallion, tamari, and red pepper flakes. The Asian theme of the sauce works best with udon but fresh linguine is a good second choice.

2 packages udon noodles
3 medium carrots, shredded
4 scallions, chopped
1 red pepper, cut into strips
1/4 cup sesame oil
1/4 cup tamari
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1. Cook the noodles according to the manufacturer's instructions. Drain, rinse, and refrigerate until chilled.

2. In a large bowl, combine all the remaining ingredients.

3. Add the noodles and toss, mixing well. Serve chilled.

Powerfood Highlight:
Udon noodles, carrots, scallions, red pepper

Good Food, Good Health with Phytochemicals,
Nature's Own Energy Boosters
by Stephanie Beling, M.D.
Collins; HarperPerennial Ed edition 1998
ISBN: 0-06-017454-4; $25.00; 304 pages
reprinted by permission

Click to Buy PowerFoods

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This page originally published as a Global Gourmet Today column in 1998.

Copyright © 2007, Kate Heyhoe. All rights reserved.

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This page modified January 2007

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