Phytofoods contain phytonutrients.

The first thing people typically ask when discussing a plant-based/vegan diet is, "What about protein?" when we would benefit much more by asking,
​"What about phytonutrients?"

Phytonutrients are only found in plant foods and are essential to our health and well-being. The focus on protein has resulted in animal meat, diary, and eggs being the focus of almost every meal. Remember: protein, carbohydrates, and fats are macronutrients. They're not really food groups!

Proteins are in abundance throughout plant foods, and in the most concentrated, complete amounts among legumes, beans, nuts, and seeds. Even produce has significant amounts of protein that count towards our daily protein needs. We really don't need to worry about getting enough protein. We should be worried about getting too much when consuming animal products, because most people do.

Phytofood & Life

Phyto" is the Greek word for plants!

Phytonutrients are natural, protective chemicals produced by plants.

Guess what: these chemicals protect us too! Although phytonutrients aren't considered essential, because we could be alive without them, they are essential
for us to thrive, not just be alive.

Of the approximately 25,000 phytonutrients in plants, WebMD highlights the following six categories. Each category contain numerous kinds of phytonutrients, performing many functions.


Produce colors: yellow, orange, reds


Important for producing vitamin A in the body,
    which is beneficial for immunity and eye health.

Eliagic Acid

In berries

​Protects against cancer


Green tea, citrus fruits, apples, berries, kale, onions

May help reduce risk of asthma, some cancers,
     and heart disease


Grapes, purple grape juice, red wine

Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory

Reduced risk of heart disease and some cancers


Cruciferous vegetables, including brussel sprouts,
     cabbage, kale, broccoli.

Turn into other chemicals during cooking
     and in digestion that help prevent cancer.


Can act like estrogen and block natural supply
     of estrogen.

Soy foods (isoflavones).

May be link to lowered risk of endometrial cancer
     and bone loss in women.

Lignans converted by body into chemicals with
     estrogen-like effects. Flax and sesame seeds
​     are good sources.


Phytonutrients. (Retrieved April, 2021).