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Fight Inflammation with Phytochemicals

The Clean 14 plan is rich in phytochemicals, naturally occurring plant chemicals that give plant-based foods color, fragrance and flavor. When you ingest phytochemicals, they help your body in completing thousands of biochemical processes, such as stimulating your immune system, blocking substances from becoming carcinogens, decreasing inflammation, and protecting and repairing DNA. Here are common categories of phytochemicals, how they help your body and the foods you’ll find them in.

FLAVONOIDS

May inhibit inflammation and tumor growth, immune strengthening and help form detoxification pathways.   FOUND IN: Apples, citrus, coffee, onions, soybeans and tea 

CAROTENOIDS

May prevent cancer cell growth, improve immune response and act as an antioxidant.   FOUND IN: Broccoli, carrots, cooked tomatoes, leafy greens and sweet potatoes 

INDOLES AND GLUCOSINOLATES

May assist with detoxification of carcinogens and reduce production of cancer-related hormones.   FOUND IN: Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower and kale) 

ISOTHIOCYANATES

May assist with detoxification of carcinogens, block tumor growth, and act as an antioxidant.  FOUND IN: Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower and kale)

POLYPHENOLS

May fight inflammation, prevent cancer formation and act as an antioxidant.   FOUND IN: Plums, berries, sweet cherries, green tea, grapes and wine

Written by Tiffani Bachus and Erin Macdonald for Clean Eating Magazine and legally licensed through the Matcha publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@getmatcha.com.

Some Extra virgin olive oils naturally have very high levels of polyphenols or antioxidants. Depending on the specific olive cultivar and depending on how green the olives are when harvested can really pump up the polyphenol levels. Look for extra virgin olive oils that list their polyphenol levels. Sometimes they are called High Phenolic Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Use these oils as a finishing oil (drizzled over food) or as salad dressings.



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