Functional Foods and Phytochemicals

What are functional foods?

Functional foods provide a specific health benefit beyond their natural nutritional value. These are foods that have vitamins added to them to make them healthier for you. They can protect against cancer and heart disease and they slow the aging process.

What are phytochemicals?

Phytochemicals are substances found in plants that may help fight disease or cause other health benefits. They are literally "plant chemicals." If you eat a variety of these foods, such peaches and onions, it will give you the best chance of reducing the rick of developing certain diseases.

Examples of Phytochemicals

Health Benefits of Phytochemicals

  • Improve your vision
  • Lower your risk of America's top two killers, heart disease and cancer
  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Prevent joint inflammation
  • Improves lung health

More About Phytochemicals

Phytochemical Groups

Phytochemicals are sorted into five different color groups: Blue/Purple, Green, White/Brown, Yellow/Orange, and Red. The color of the fruit or vegetable determines what group it is in. For example, blueberries are in the blue/purple group. Blueberries are extremely healthy for you, they break down belly fat and reduce the risk of a heart attack.


Blueberry Pancakes


1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 1/4 teaspoons white sugar

1 egg

1 cup milk

1/2 tablespoon butter, melted

1/2 cup frozen blueberries, thawed


1. In a large bowl, sift together flour, salt, baking powder and sugar. In a small bowl, beat together egg and milk. Stir milk and egg into flour mixture. Mix in the butter and fold in the blueberries. Set aside for 1 hour.

2. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot.

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Kale Smootie


1 orange, peeled

1/2 cup water

1 leaf kale, torn into several pieces

2 ripe bananas, peeled


1. Blend the orange in a blender until mostly juice.

2. Add the water and kale; blend again on High speed until kale is liquefied.

3. Break the bananas into chunks and add to the blender. Start blending on a lower speed until the banana is incorporated. Increase speed to blend the mixture into a pudding-like texture.

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