Nutrition Encyclopedia

Nutrients are the compounds in foods that sustain all of your body processes: they give you energy, allow you to grow and help to regulate all of your body processes. There six major classes of essential nutrients grouped together based on similarities in function. : carbohydrate, protein, fats, vitamins, minerals, and water. There are also other types of nutrients that are non-essential, such as chlorophyll and anti-oxidant, which help your body to achieve optimum health.

The main source of blood glucose, which is a major fuel for all of the body's cells, and the only source of energy for the brain. Choose complex carbohydrate, which keeps is digested over a long period of time (take longer to digest), causing your blood sugar level to stabilize, and making you feel full for a longer period of time.

  • carbohydrates are converted into glucose that are either used directly to provide energy for the body, or stored in the liver for future use.
  • glucose from carbohydrate is needed by some cell tissues in the brain to prevent the reduction of brain function
  • prevents the body from breaking down muscle tissue for fuel due to the lack of sufficient carbohydrate energy.

Deficiency: fatigue and weakness, trouble fighting off diseases and the healing of wounds, and a likelier chance to be eating foods high in fat and cholesterol which can lead to an increased risk of heart disease.

Sources: whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and beans.


Fiber is a part of complex carbohydrate that is indigestible - they pass relatively unchanged through our stomach and intestines. There are 2 types of fibers: soluble fiber is which are found mainly in plant cells, absorbs water to become a gelatinous substance, and is fermented by bacteria in the digestive tract. The other type is insoluble fiber, made up of the structural parts of plant cell walls, possesses bulking action and is not fermented, It is the indigestible material in plant-based foods that helps the body in eliminating waste products. There are insoluble and soluble fiber actually work together for your overall health.


  • Reduces digestive problems, including constipation, hemorrhoids, and diverticulitis
  • Lowers cholesterol levels and reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke
  • Balances blood sugar levels and reduces the risk of diabetes
  • Aids in weight loss because foods high in fiber are more filling and satisfy hunger longer; also, fiber contains no calories
  • May help reduce the risk of certain cancers, including stomach and colon cancer

Deficiency:  Digestive disorders (constipation and diverticulitis), and heart disease.

Sources: soluble fibre – legumes (peas, beans, soybeans and its products), nuts, fruits, vegetables, flaxseed, psyllium husk, and insoluble fibre - wheat bran, corn bran, rice bran, the skins of fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, dried beans and wholegrain foods.

They are the basic building blocks of living things and are responsible for the growth and repair of body cells and tissues. The human body is about one half muscle, and muscles are mostly made of proteins.


  • replacement of cells
  • replenishment of blood
  • helps build hormones and enzymes
  • maintains proper immune system to function
  • necessary for hair and nail growth
  • healing of wounds and scars

Deficiency: listlessness, fatigue, muscle wasting, muscle ramping, and hair loss.

Sources: fish, egg, lean meat, nuts and legumes, poultry, low-fat dairy


The basic building blocks of proteins


  • the main role of amino acids in the human body is the synthesis of proteins and peptides
  • play an important role in metabolism
  • amino acids can also be used as a precursor to other compounds, such as neurotransmitters and the hormones norepinehrine and epinephrine, also known as noradrenaline and adrenaline

Deficiency: depression, increased sensitivity to pain, insomnia and aggressive behavior

Sources: eggs, soybeans, whey protein, fish, poultry, and red meat.

Dietary fat is one of the three macronutrients, along with protein and carbohydrates, which provide energy for your body. Fat is essential to your health because it supports a number of your body's functions. Some vitamins, for instance, must have fat to dissolve and nourish your body. The USDA recommends that 20% - 35% of calories should come from fat.

Dietary fats are divided in two general categories: saturated and unsaturated.


Saturated fat, including trans fat or industrial fat, is what your body should consume less of because too much can raise total blood cholesterol levels, increase your risk of cardiovascular disease, and increase your risk of type 2 diabetes. Trans fat, industrial fats, or Recommended fat intakes are based on energy needs and physical activity levels. Present guidelines suggest that women should eat no more than 20 grams, and men no more than 30 grams of saturated fat a day.


  • it gives you more calories per gram, fat provides 9 calories per gram.

Deficiency: Lack of energy


Saturated - meat, lard, butter, hard margarine, cheese, and cream.
Trans fat - in all foods made with shortening or partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, snack foods, fast foods, deep fried foods, and ready-prepared foods.


Unsaturated fats, including monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats (which includes omega 3 and 6), are healthy fats needed by your body. You should try to replace saturated fats with unsaturated fats. They improve blood cholesterol levels, and lower the risk of heart disease. 


  • Improve blood cholesterol levels
  • Lowers the risk of heart disease
  • is needed for carrying and storing essential fat-soluble vitamins (vitamins A and D)
  • it is provides necessary for brain development, and enabling it to carry messages faster
  • it is essential for healthier skin

Deficiency : Poor vitamin absorption, depression, increased cancer risk, high cholesterol and heart disease, imbalance nutrients, overeating.

Monounsaturated - Olive, canola and peanut oils, avocados, non-hydrogenated margarines, nuts and seeds
Omega 3 - Fattier fish, canola and soybean oils, flax seed, omega-3 eggs, walnuts, pecans and pine nuts
Omega 6- Safflower, sesame, sunflower, soya, corn oils, soya flaxseeds, nuts and seeds 


Vitamins are nutrients that are essential for normal growth, vitality and general wellbeing. Vitamins can be categorized as:

  • Fat-soluble vitamins, such as A, D, E and K, are usually found in meat and meat products, animal fat and vegetable oils, dairy products and fish. Your body stores any excess in the liver and fatty tissues. Meaning you don't need to get them from food sources every day.
  • Water-soluble vitamins, such as B and C, are found in meat, fish, fruit, vegetables and whole grains. Your body cannot store them and the excess is passed through urine. You need to eat foods containing these vitamins every day.


A fat soluble nutrient mostly known for its importance to vision (especially night vision) and also acts as an antioxidant.

  • keeps your eyes healthy
  • helps to strengthen your immune system
  • aids in battling infections in your respiratory system
  • protects the outer lining of your tissues and organs
  • encourages healthy bone growth
  • advances healthy gums and teeth
  • fosters healthy skin and hair
  • an antioxidant, it protects the body from harmful free radicals - this may help to reduce the risk of certain forms of cancer.

Deficiency: Generally affects the skin and functioning of the mucous membranes throughout the body. This can lead to xerophthalmia, a disorder of the eye in which there is hardening of the cornea

Sources: There are two sources of dietary vitamin A. The first, or active form (retinol), is immediately available to the body and can be obtained from animal products such as milk, egg yolk and liver. The second, or precursor form (beta-carotene), can be obtained from fruit and vegetables, and is converted to the active form in the body


Water-soluble B-complex vitamin that is involved in numerous body functions.

  • aids the body in converting carbohydrates into glucose - necessary for energy
  • required for the metabolism of protein and fats
  • sustains muscle tone of the digestive tract
  • necessary for healthy eyes, hair, skin, liver and nervous system
  • helpful in reducing stress
  • supports a healthy immune system

Deficiency: insufficient levels may advance congestive heart failure

Sources: sesame butter (tahini), sunflower seeds, dried herbs and spices, pork chops, pine nuts, and fish


Water-soluble B-complex vitamin which is necessary for red blood cell formation.

  • aids the body in converting carbohydrates into glucose - necessary for energy
  • required for the metabolism of proteins and fats
  • known as an antioxidant - neutralizes free radicals in the body that can damage cell walls
  • helps in maintaining good vision

Deficiency: trouble seeing in dim lights, dry eyes and nearly white spots on the eyelids. 

Sources: liver, dried herbs, spices and pepper, almonds, dry roasted soybeans, cheese, and wheat bran.


Water-soluble B-complex vitamin. helpful for good blood circulation and your skin.

  • boosts blood circulation
  • necessary for healthy eyes, hair, skin, liver and nervous system
  • sustains muscle tone of the digestive tract
  • helpful in reducing stress
  • might help to whittle down your cholesterol number

Deficiency: dark red rashes on your hands, feet, neck and face 

Sources: bran (rice and wheat), fish, liver, paprika, peanuts, and chicken.       


Water-soluble B-complex vitamin that is needed by our bodies to synthesize and metabolize fats, proteins and carbohydrates. 

  • aids the body in converting carbohydrates and fats into glucose - necessary for energy
  • sustains muscle tone of the digestive tract
  • helpful in reducing stress
  • crucial to the production of red blood cells
  • assists your body in utilizing other vitamins more efficiently

Deficiency: Numbness and a painful tingling sensation in the feet, listlessness, insomnia and fatigue, also depression and irritability

Sources: liver, bran (rice and wheat), sunflower seeds, whey powder, and mushrooms.

Water-soluble B-complex vitamin that is essential for the breakdown of food by the body, and turning carbohydrates, proteins and fat into energy.
  • required for the breakdown of protein and fats
  • necessary for a healthy brain
  • keeps muscle and nerve cells in good health
  • assists your body in the manufacture of RNA and DNA
  • boosts the immune system and the production of stress fighting hormones
  • one of the vitamins necessary in lowering levels of homocysteine in the blood - high levels of homocysteine is thought to be related to heart disease and stroke

Deficiency: muscle weakness, irritability, difficulty concentrating, short-term memory loss and depression.

Sources: bran (rice and wheat), dried herbs and spices, garlic, liver and fish.


Water-soluble B-complex vitamin that is required for numerous body functions including DNA synthesis and repair, cell division, and cell growth.

  • Prevents some birth defects by promoting healthy cell division for healthy growth of fetus
  • DNA synthesis - DNA cannot be produced without sufficient folic acid.
  • cell maintenance and repair.
  • amino acid metabolism.
  • formation of red and white blood cells.
  • wards off anemia by helping iron to function properly in the body.
  • May Reduce Heart Problems - folic acid helps to lower levels of the amino acid homocysteine, which is thought to damage the arteries and increase the risk of heart disease.

Deficiency: physical signs like weight loss and loss of appetite. Folate deficiency is also known to cause sore tongue, headache, and irritability 

Sources: Black-eyed peas, Lentils, Okra, Kidney beans, Broccoli, Sunflower seeds, Spinach, Corn, Cabbage, Peanuts, Eggs, Bananas. The U.S. Public Health Service acknowledges the link and recommends that women of childbearing age consume 400 micrograms (mcg) of the vitamin per day.


Water-soluble B-complex vitamin that helps keep the body's nerve and blood cells healthy and helps make DNA, the genetic material in all cells.

  • assists your body in the manufacture of genetic material - RNA and DNA - prevent a type of anemia called megaloblastic anemia that makes people tired and weak
  • crucial to the production of red blood cells, helps your body utilize iron more effectively
  • boosts the immune system and the production of stress fighting hormones
  • helps to regulate your mood

Deficiency: vitamin B12 deficiency anemia such as weakness, tiredness, or light headedness, rapid heartbeat and breathing, and pale skin. 

Sources: clams, oysters, and mussels, liver, caviar, octopus, and fish


Water soluble vitamin that acts as an antioxidant, helping to protect cells from the damage caused by free radicals.

  • vital for enabling your tissues to grow and repair
  • crucial for your body's production of collagen
  • critical in the healing of injuries
  • known as an antioxidant - neutralizes free radicals in the body that can damage cell walls and genetic material
  • may help to lower high blood pressure
  • along with other antioxidants, thought to guard your eyes against macular degeneration

Deficiency: weakened immune system, scurvy, bleeding gums, rough and dry skin. Insufficient levels have been linked to high blood pressure atherosclerosis and heart disease 

Sources: grapefruits, oranges and kiwis


Important for the absorption and use of calcium and phosphorus by the body. It's essential for the formation and health of bones, teeth and cartilage.

  • necessary for the processing of calcium and phosphorous in the body
  • critical for the absorption of calcium in the small intestine
  • vital for preventing bone loss and prevent softening of the bones
  • minimize symptoms of arthritis by helping to keep joint cartilage healthy

Deficiency: Prolonged deficiency can result in weakness and softening of the bones 

Sources: D2 is found naturally in egg yolk, mackerel, and salmon. D3 is produced within the body when the skin is exposed to sunlight

Powerful antioxidant that protects the body against free radicals. It helps to make red blood cells and prevents blood from clotting.
  • neutralizes or destroys free radicals that damage cell membranes
  • associated with decreased risk of heart attack
  • associated with the slowing of Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia

Deficiency: problems in the nervous, vascular and reproductive systems 

Sources: peanuts, sunflower seeds, and soy beans.


This is an essential component in the body’s normal blood-clotting process and plays an important role in maintaining bone health.

  • aids the body in clotting blood when bleeding
  • necessary in helping your bones use calcium
  • helps lessen bone fractures
  • might minimize the formation of kidney stones

Deficiency: Many studies report that low vitamin K intake increases the risk of developing osteoporosis 

Sources: spinach, Brussels sprouts, broccoli and cabbage

Help regulate body functions and allows your tissues to grow and help the vitamins work. Minerals are divided into these categories:

  • Trace minerals help absorb nutrients and the flow of oxygen. They are needed in small quantities. It includes iron, zinc, copper, selenium, chromium, iodine, fluoride, manganese and molybdenum.
  • Major minerals regulate fluid in your body, as well as help you absorb amino acid. They are absolutely needed everyday for good health. This includes calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, chloride and phosphorus.


Important for maintaining bone health and dental care.

  • Build strong bone and teeth (young)
  • Maintaining strong bone and teeth (adult)
  • Prevents colon cancer
  • Prevents obesity
  • Helps in transportation of nutrients

Deficiency: nervous affliction called tetany, which is characterized by muscle cramps, numbness and tingling in the arms and legs. Another deficiency ailment is osteoporosis, in which the bones become porous and fragile because calcium is withdrawn from the bones and other areas faster than it is deposited in them 

Sources: Milk, cheese, yoghurt, nuts, tinned salmon, seeds and pulses


Most common electrolyte that is essential in maintaining proper fluid balance.

  • Responsible for the initial breakdown of foods into nutrients. It helps to breakdown protein bonds for easier assimilation into your body.
  • Manage the amount of water to balance levels in your system., helping to regulate your blood pressure.
  • Helps in muscle function since we lose chloride when we sweat that can create problem with muscle contraction

Deficiency: nothing serious except for who were diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, and increased sweating. 

Sources:  salt, such as standard table salt or sea salt. Seaweeds (such as dulse and kelp), olives, rye, lettuce, tomatoes, and


A trace mineral that works with insulin to help the body utilize sugar and metabolize fat.

  • Monitors the blood sugar
  • Aids metabolism
  • Reduces food cravings
  • Regulates fat and cholesterol
  • Prevents hypertension (high blood pressure)

Deficiency: cold sweats, dizziness, frequent hunger, cold hands, need for excessive sleep, addiction to sweet foods, frequent urination, and excessive thirst. 

Sources: brewer’s yeast, coffee, tea, cereals, potatoes, peas, oysters, rye, thyme, processed meats, whole grains, and beer


Essential mineral for blood pressure and healthy heart

  • helps in the production of red blood cells, hemoglobin, and bone.
  • helps in the absorption of iron from the intestinal tract and release it from its primary storage sites like liver.
  • helps in the utilization of sugar in the body
  • a vital element of the natural dark pigment, melanin, which imparts coloration to skin, hair, and eyes
  • reduces bad cholesterol levels and helps in increasing beneficial cholesterol

Deficiency: brittle bones, anemia and high cholesterol levels 

Sources: Oysters and other shellfish, whole grains, beans, nuts, potatoes, and organ meats (kidneys, liver)


Important for healthy teeth.

  • helps prevent and even reverse the early stages of tooth decay
  • prevents the acid produced by the bacteria in plaque from dissolving, or demineralizing, tooth enamel, the hard and shiny substance that protects the teeth

Deficiency: cavities, weakened tooth enamel, and brittle bones. 

Sources: some toothpastes and drinking water supplies, canned fish and salmon


Necessary for the production of thyroid hormones that are necessary for normal metabolism

  • plays an important role in maintaining optimum energy levels of the body by ensuring optimum utilization of calories, without allowing them to be deposited as excess fats
  • maintains healthy nails, hair and teeth
  • helps in the normal growth and maturity of reproductive organs
  • anti-cancer properties

Deficiency: frustration, depression, mental retardation, poor perception levels, goiter, abnormal weight gain, decreased fertility, coarse skin, chances of still birth in expectant mothers, constipation and fatigue 

Sources: sea vegetables, yogurt, cow’s milk, eggs, and strawberries.


A trace mineral crucial in delivering oxygen to your body cells

  • required for proper brain function which  brain uses approximately 20% of the blood oxygen.
  • produces red blood cells by formation of hemoglobin.
  • required for contraction of muscles and proper muscle function.

Deficiency: most common and widespread nutritional disorder in the world, Anemia. 

Sources: clams, oysters, soybeans, pumpkin seed, white beans, blackstrap molasses, lentils, prune juice, organ meats, and spinach


A major mineral to help keep a healthy cardiovascular system. About half of the magnesium in your body is stored in your bones, while the rest is at work in the cells of your organs and other tissues.

  • promotes a healthier cardiovascular system and help prevent heart attacks.  It relaxes the heart muscles and aids the electrical conduction of the heart to maintain a regular heartbeat, and thus prevent sudden changes in blood pressure.
  • responsible for the body’s ability to absorb calcium to prevent of osteoporosis.
  • aids in carbohydrate metabolism and influences the release and activity of insulin, thereby controlling blood glucose levels and decreasing diabetic risk.

Deficiency: feeling weak and tired, and losing your appetite. You may become nauseated and start vomiting. 

Sources: Most dietary magnesium comes from vegetables, such as dark green, leafy vegetables. Other foods are bananas, avocados, almonds, legumes, soy products, and whole grains such as brown rice and millet.


Very essential mineral for proper and normal growth of human bone structure.

  • regulates fat and carbohydrate metabolism
  • regulates blood sugar levels. Manganese is critical to regulating blood sugar levels. It helps in glucose metabolism, which prevents diabetes.
  • promotes reproductive health. Manganese is involved in the function of sex hormones that promotes a healthy reproductive system.
  • necessary for normal brain function.

Deficiency: poor bone health, joint pain, and fertility problems 

Sources: pineapple, brown rice, spinach, kale, whole grains, seeds, nuts, and cloves.


One of the minerals that is essential to keep your bones healthy

  • bone and teeth formation. More than half of all bone is made from phosphate and calcium needs phosphorus to maximize its bone-strengthening benefits.
  • creates and manages energy by stimulating the process of metabolism of different nutrients and its efficient usage by different body parts.
  • excretion of toxins by ensuring proper release of wastes from kidneys.
  • ensures that hormones, especially those required for good reproductive health, are always balanced.
  • an essential element found around as well as inside the cells of brain to maintain proper brain functions.

Deficiency: weak bones or teeth, joint pain and stiffness, less energy, and lack of appetite. 

Sources: bran (rice and oat), pumpkin, squash and watermelon seeds, sunflower seeds.


Necessary for balancing the pH of your body and for keeping fluids in balance.

  • regulate normal blood pressure
  • osteoporosis prevention
  • lower risk of stroke

Deficiency: unexplained fatigue and weakness, muscle pain, muscular weakness and cramp, abnormal rate of muscle contractions in the heart, increase the risk of high blood pressure. 

Sources: bananas, citrus juices (such as orange juice), avocados, cantaloupes, tomatoes, potatoes, lima beans, flounder, salmon, cod, chicken, and other meats

A trace mineral that acts as an antioxidant against free radicals that damage our DNA. 


  • maintains of hair, skin, and eyes.
  • may prevent prostate cancer. Initial evidence has suggested that selenium supplementation reduces the risk of developing prostate cancer in men.
  • increase male potency.

Deficiency: lowered fertility and skin infections, whilst selenium supplements help improve thyroid function, immunity and asthma 

Sources: Brazil nuts, oysters, liver, fish, sunflower seeds, rice, wheat, oat, caviar, bacon and pork chops, lobster, crab, and shrimp

A nutrient found in cells throughout the body for a healthy immune system
  • helps the immune system fight off invading bacteria and viruses.
  • helps proper cell growth and development especially in childhood, adolescence, and pregnancy to reduce poor fetal development and premature birth.
  • increases breast-milk quality of nursing mothers.
  • synthesis of collagen.
  • increase prostate health. Zinc can aid in fighting the inflammation and infection of the prostate gland.

Deficiency: poor immune function, DNA damage, infertility, slow wound healing, cancer, and other diseases. 

Sources: Meat (Beef, pork and lamb), Oysters, Beans, nuts and legumes, and Whole grains. 

Major component of every body cell, tissue and organ. It plays an important role in almost every body function. Water makes up 50 to 70 per cent of an adult's total body weight and, without regular top-ups, our body's survival time is limited to a matter of days. Losing just 1-5% of body weight through water loss can produce the feelings of thirst, vague discomfort, reduced appetite, flushed skin, impatience and irritability, increased pulse rate and nausea. Normally people should consume approximately 2 to 3 liters of fluid each day.

  • Transportation of oxygen and nutrients through the blood
  • It helps to dilute the blood thereby preventing high blood pressure and encouraging good heart health
  • It helps regulate body temperature via perspiration, which also clears our pores of dirt and toxins helping to avoid acne and other problems
  • It improves the immune system and helps to combat disease
  • It helps to regulate a healthy metabolism
  • Serving as a base for many important fluids – from tears, to saliva to some enzymes
  • Aid in elimination of waste through urine and feces
  • It moisturizes the skin and hair

Deficiencies: dehydration can cause thirst, a dry mouth, headaches, tiredness and loss of concentration. Loss of fluid that amount to 10% of body weight can be fatal.  Chronic dehydration can contribute to a number of health problems such as constipation and kidney stones. 


  • Purified water has been processed usually by procedures that remove minerals and contaminants.  The 2 most used methods are reverse osmosis and distillation.  Reverse osmosis forces water through a filtering membrane. The pores in the membrane are small enough to filter out most of the dissolved minerals, but not all.  Distillation boils water and the condensed steam is collected. Distilled water leaves most of the non-volatile components behind and therefore, has less minerals than reverse osmosis. Drinking too much of de-mineralized water can lead to increase mineral deficiencies and an acid state.
  • Spring water comes from an underground formation and must flow naturally to the earth's surface. Spring water is typically protected from microorganisms sometimes found in surface water.  Bottled spring water is collected at the spring or through a hole that taps the source, and the source must be stated on the label.
  • Mineral water originates from a geologically and physically protected underground water source, a mineral spring, containing various minerals such as salts and sulfur compounds. These minerals must occur naturally and bottled mineral water should be bottled at the source. Mineral water comes in sparkling or still. Minerals are essential for the optimum growth and health of the body, and mineral content of water can be easily absorbed by the body as compared to mineral content of the food.

Vitamins, minerals, or enzymes that may protect your cells against the effects of free radicals.
Free radicals are molecules produced when your body breaks down food, or by environmental exposures, such as tobacco smoke and radiation.

  • protect the body from heart disease and cancer
  • maintains cells to slow down the aging process

Deficiency: a general lack of anti-oxidants means that the body cannot protect itself against oxidation, which can cause or assist Alzheimer's disease. Cancer, cardiovascular disease, cataracts, diabetes, hypertension, infertility, macular degeneration (eye lens degeneration), measles, mental illnesses, periodontal disease, respiratory tract infection as well as rheumatoid arthritis. 

Sources: blueberries, tomatoes, pomegranate, and black rice.

A powerful antioxidant pigment that gives blueberries their lovely blue-purple color.


  • fights free racials to slow down aging.
  • repairs collagen and damaged proteins.
  • neutralizes inflammations which is a major problem especially with the elderly. Their immune response is decreased which makes them all the more vulnerable to infections. This benefit holds a lot of hope for the aging people to lower the incidence of cancer
  • prevents oxidants from damaging connective tissue, The brain is particularly vulnerable to oxidative damage.

Deficiency: a general lack of anti-oxidants means that the body cannot protect against oxidation, which can cause or assist Alzheimer's disease. Cancer, cardiovascular disease, cataracts, diabetes, hypertension, infertility, macular degeneration (eye lens degeneration) measles, mental illness, periodontal disease, respiratory tract infection as well as rheumatoid arthritis. 

Sources: blueberries, cranberries, strawberries and raspberries, black rice.


A green pigment that’s good for cleansing our organs and deliver oxygen to all of our tissues.


  • helps neutralize free radicals that do damage to healthy cells.
  • helps in neutralizing the pollute air that we breathe in and intake everyday - a good supplement for smokers.
  • It has antimutagenic and anti-carcinogenic properties so that it may be helpful in protecting your body against toxins and in reducing drug side effects.
  • an effective deodorizer to reduce bad breath, urine, fecal waste, and body odor.
  • may reduce the ability of carcinogens to bind with the DNA in different major organs in the body.

Deficiency:  Chlorophyll deficiency does not exist, but they do contribute to optimal health. 

Sources: green leafy vegetables of all kinds, green olives, romaine lettuce, sea vegetables, broccoli, green peas, leeks, bell peppers, wheatgrass juice, and barleygreen (juice)


Plant chemicals that are responsible for color and organoleptic properties, such as the deep purple of blueberries and the smell of garlic. Some well-known phytochemicals are lycopene in tomatoes, isoflavones in soy and flavanoids in fruits.

  • Most phytochemicals have antioxidant activity and protect our cells against oxidative damage and reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancer
  • Some phytochemicals bind physically to cell walls thereby preventing the adhesion of pathogens to human cell walls. Proanthocyanidins are responsible for the anti-adhesion properties of cranberry. Consumption of cranberries will reduce the risk of urinary tract infections and will improve dental health
  • Isoflavones, found in soy, imitate human estrogen and help to reduce menopausal symptoms and osteoporosis
  • Indoles, which are found in cabbages, stimulate enzymes that make the estrogen less effective and could reduce the risk for breast cancer
  • The phytochemical allicin from garlic has anti-bacterial properties
  • Saponins found in beans interfere with the replication of cell DNA, thereby preventing the multiplication of cancer cells.
  • Capsaicin, found in hot peppers, protects DNA from carcinogens.

Deficiency: An absence or deficiency of phytochemicals will not result in a disease or the development of an undesirable condition but they do contribute to optimal health 

Sources: broccoli, garlic, whole grains and green leafy vegetables