Unexpected bonuses

Food is a package deal containing vitamins, minerals, protein, fat, carbohydrates, and fiber, plus a cornucopia of as-yet-unidentified substances called phytochemicals (phyto = plant, chemicals = well, chemicals) that may be vital to your continuing good health. Think of lycopene, the red pigment in tomatoes that recently was found to reduce the risk of prostate cancer. Think of genistein and daidzein, the estrogen-like substances in soybeans that appear to reduce your risk of heart disease. Who knows what else is hiding in your apples, peaches, pears, and plums? Do you want to be the only one on your block who misses out on these goodies? Of course not. For more about the benefits of phytochemicals, see Chapter 12.

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