Phytochemicals are plant chemicals and are non-toxic, do not provide essential nutrients for the body’s growth or life, but do protect from diseases.
Phytochemicals provide anti-inflammatory, anti-proliferative, antioxidant, and anti-cancer functions in the human body.
Phytochemicals, such as isoflavones, coumestans, lignans, and prenylflavonoids, have been shown to act as selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERM), which prevent cancer by inhibiting cancer growth, metastasis, and induce apoptosis (programmed cell death of cancer cells) in breast tissue. Daidzein and genistein are two isoflavones found to have this effect.
A 2000 study published in the British Journal of Nutrition found vegetables with the highest daidzein and genistein content to be soybeans, mung beansprouts, runner beans, chickpeas, butterbeans, split peas, red kidney beans, French beans, and lentils (red-split).