Foods For Health and Beauty
Health benefits of fruit and vegetables are from additive and synergistic combinations of phytochemicals
Regular consumption of fruit and vegetables is associated with reduced risks of cancer, cardiovascular disease, stroke, Alzheimer disease, cataracts, and some of the functional declines associated with aging. Epidemiologic studies have consistently shown that diet plays a crucial role in the prevention of chronic diseases. Consumption of fruit and vegetables, as well as grains, has been strongly associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer disease, cataracts, and age-related functional decline. The value of adding citrus fruit, carotene-rich fruit and vegetables, and cruciferous vegetables to the diet for reducing the risk of cancer was specifically highlighted. Prevention is a more effective strategy than treatment of chronic diseases. Plant-based foods, such as fruit, vegetables, and whole grains, which contain significant amounts of bioactive phytochemicals, may provide desirable health benefits beyond basic nutrition to reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
Phytochemicals—the bioactive nonnutrient plants compounds in fruit, vegetables, grains, and other plant foods have been linked to reductions in the risk of major chronic diseases. Oxidative stress can cause oxidative damage to large biomolecules such as proteins, DNA, and lipids, resulting in an increased risk for cancer and cardiovascular disease.
Role of phytochemicals in the prevention of cancer
Evidence suggests that dietary antioxidants can reduce cancer risk. The risk of cancer for most cancer sites was twice as high in persons whose intake of fruit and vegetables was low compared with those with high intake. Fruit was significantly protective in cancers of the esophagus, oral cavity, and larynx. This potentially cancer-inducing oxidative damage might be prevented or limited by dietary antioxidants found in fruit and vegetables.