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The role of phytochemicals in prevention and control of chronic diseases

Author: 
Monicah Njambi Kibe, Silvenus Konyole, Gordon Nguka, Micky Olutende Oloo, Doreen Kathure and Peter M. Wangari
Subject Area: 
Health Sciences
Abstract: 

Background: Overproduction of oxidants (reactive oxygen and nitrogen species) in human body can cause an imbalance and lead to oxidative damage to large biomolecules such as proteins, lipids and DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid) which is responsible for the development of chronic diseases. Metabolic diseases are associated to our daily lifestyle, mostly unbalanced energy-rich diet lacking fiber and bioactive compounds such as micronutrients and phytochemicals. Scavenging of these oxidants is thought to be an effective measure to depress the level of oxidative stress. Adequate dietary intake of fruits and vegetables may have protective effects against a number of diseases due to the biological protective effects of phytochemicals in these foods. Methodology: The reviewed article was obtained by using search tools to search for studies done within the year 2013 to 2017. Key words such as phytochemicals, antioxidants, polyphenols, bioavailability and health were used in the searching. Studies were searched in journals such as PUBMED, Science direct and Mendeley desktop used in the writing and referencing of the article. Results: Antioxidants found in popularly consumed vegetables, including red beans, have been found to prevent diabetic complications. Healthy eating practices that emphasizes consumption of plant based foods plays vital roles in the prevention of chronic diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer, cataract, heart diseases, age related function decline and stroke. Conclusion: Health practitioners should emphasize consumption of plant based foods as per the recommendations since they play a big role in the prevention and control of chronic diseases that are of high prevalence now and affected people all over the world.

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