Nutrition: what is the “dark matter” of food and why can it contribute to cancer prevention?

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Nutrition: what is the “dark matter” of food and why can it contribute to cancer prevention?

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  • shin suzuki
  • BBC News Brazil, Sao Paulo

A plate of rice and chickpeas.

Copyright of the photo, Getty Images

Garlic is good for your health.

It’s a phrase that has been said for hundreds of years and you’ve probably heard it before. However, the science’s understanding of the health benefits of garlic is much more recent. To do this, it was necessary to decipher its chemical composition.

The allicin compound, for example, inhibits the proliferation of cells that spread colon cancer and is also responsible for the flavor of freshly grated garlic. Luteolin, on the other hand, has properties that help prevent cancer and heart disease, according to some studies.

In every food we eat, there are tens of thousands of other biochemical structures whose characteristics and potential must be explored.

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