Food additions that consumers in the professional sector in the City of Cape Town are likely to consume to enhance their phytochemical intake

11 May 2020

Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are one of the leading causes of death in South Africa (SA) (Mungal-Singh, 2011) and dietary behaviour is believed to be a major risk factor (Mbanya et al, 2010). A growing body of evidence has accumulated proposing that regular consumption of plant produce and plant-based products play an important preventative role in the development of these diseases, which include cardiovascular disease (CVD) (Wang et al, 2011), various cancers (Miller & Snyder, 2012) and type 2 diabetes mellitus (Leiherer et al, 2013). The accumulating evidence suggests that the health-promoting benefits of consuming plant produce and plant-based products are, in part, attributed to the interaction and/or enhanced effects brought about by the phytochemicals present within them (Lui, 2013a), with their mode of action comprising biological activities to more complex changes in cell signalling pathways (Traka & Mithen, 2011; Lui, 2013a). Phytochemicals are bioactive, non-nutrient, health-promoting plant chemicals (Vincent et al, 2010; Miller & Snyder, 2012) of which the common groups include the polyphenols (with non-flavonoid phenolic compounds and flavonoids as its classes and flavonoids the major class), the carotenoids and the organosulfurs (Gonz?lez-Castej?n & Rodriquez- Casado, 2011; Lui, 2013b). Beverages such as tea and red wine, fruits such as apples, berries, grapes and citrus fruits, vegetables such as onions and broccoli, as well as herbs are abundant in flavonoids (Yao et al, 2004; Miller & Snyder, 2012), with yellow, orange, red and deep-green vegetables and fruit abundant in carotenoids (Miller & Snyder, 2012).