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What Are Phytonutrients & Why Does Your Body Need Them?

Hands holding up radishes

In addition to vitamins and minerals, plant-based foods also contain thousands of other chemicals that are important for your body. These chemicals, called phytonutrients, help protect plants from threats like germs, bugs, and fungi. They can also help your body maintain its health and wellness. Learn more about what phytonutrients are and how they can help you from the experts at Green Gone Detox.


Carotenoids are the phytonutrients that create the red, orange, and yellow colors in veggies and fruits. They also act as antioxidants when consumed by humans. They take care of free radicals that cause damage to the tissues in your body. Some of the carotenoids you might have heard of include alpha and beta-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin. 

Your body takes these phytonutrient supplements and converts them into vitamin A to help your immune system function better.


Bowl of cut watermelon

Lycopene can be found in watermelon, tomatoes, and pink grapefruit. It actually gives them their pink color! What phytonutrient is this? It’s the one that’s been linked to a lower risk of prostate cancer. It also acts as an antioxidant in your body and can improve heart health and provide sun protection.

Lutein & Zeaxanthin

If you’re eating spinach, collard greens, or kale, you’re getting a ton of lutein and zeaxanthin. What are these phytonutrients? They protect your eyes from cataracts and macular degeneration.

Ellagic Acid

Cut strawberries

Ellagic acid is a phytonutrient supplement found in berries like strawberries, raspberries, and pomegranates. Studies show that it’s a powerful antioxidant that protects your body against cancer cell growth. It can also help your liver neutralize chemicals that may cause cancer. While ellagic acid seems like a powerful phytonutrient, there haven’t been any studies done outside of laboratory conditions to prove its potency.


There are many types of phytonutrients that are part of the flavonoid category. Some of these flavonoids include catechins and hesperidin. Catechin is a phytonutrient found in green tea, while hesperidin is an anti-inflammatory. What are these phytonutrients good for? Catechin may prevent certain types of cancer, and hesperidin can prevent many chronic diseases.


These phytonutrients might sound like flavonoids, but they’re a different kind of nutrient. From quercetin to resveratrol, these are well-studied phytonutrients called flavonols that have a number of benefits, including:

  • Reducing the risk of asthma
  • Decreasing the risk of cancer
  • Lowering the risk of heart disease

You can find these phytonutrients in apples, grapes, and even red wine!


Head of cabbage

Another phytonutrient that may prevent cancer, glucosinolates is found in cruciferous vegetables like kale, cabbage, broccoli, and brussel sprouts. During cooking and digestion, glucosinolates transform into different chemicals that can prevent the development of cancer.

Phytonutrients for Better Health

Now that you know what phytonutrients are, you can add them to your diet to enjoy their many benefits. Consider our Trace Minerals powder blend from Green Gone Detox to get the most out of your phytonutrient supplements.

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