We all know how important it is to eat a healthy diet that includes plenty of vitamins and minerals. But most of us know very little about an important group of substances known as phytochemicals. These are the compounds in plants that are thought to give them their colour, flavour and even aroma-but the latest research indicates they are capable of much, much more when integrated into our everyday diets. When consumed correctly, phytochemicals may reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis and many other common yet serious ailments.
Rosie Schwartz, one of Canada's best-known nutritionists and a registered dietitian, first explains the nutritional science behind phytochemicals, then goes on to discuss how we can best incorporate "phyto foods"into our daily diet. She discusses each kind of phyto food separately-fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds, soy, beverages, and herbs, spices and oils-and, with the aid of more than 100 healthful and delicious recipes, shows how to maximize the benefits of phytochemicals in the foods we eat. She also sorts through the benefits and risks of the exploding market of phytochemical supplements.