Terpenes are best known for their nootropic, or nerve supporting, properties. The nervous system controls things such as mood, concentration, pain, and digestion. The enteric nervous system is a collection of nerves that sometimes operate independent of the brain, and exert influence on the intestines, and deficiencies in terpenes intake have been tied to conditions such as nausea, vomiting, irritable bowel, slowed digestion, and abdominal pain. Outside the gut, terpene deficiencies have been tied to chronic pain, fibromyalgia, arthritis, depression, and anxiety.
Polyphenols are perhaps some of the most ‘well known’ of the phytonutrients. In recent years, polyphenols have made their way into common conversations having been mentioned in many health articles and segments. Here we will cover some you may know, and some that you should know. Examples include Quercetin, Kaemferol, Myricetin, Rutin, Apigenin, Luteolin, Catechins (tea, lentils, peas), Flavonals- berries, red wine), Resveratrol (grape skins), Curcumin, Tannins (tea, berries, bark) Cinnamate, gallate, capsaicin (chilies), gingerol, rutin ferulate, camphor, bromelain, theaflavin.
Chlorophyll is the pigment, that plants use to capture sunlight. It is contained in chloroplasts and used to convert ionizing radiation into useful chemical energy. In the human body, chlorophyll acts as an anti-oxidant, capturing oxygen free radicals which are produced by the body during everyday metabolism and stress. It's important that these free radicals do not ‘roam freely’ because they cause DNA damage, mutations, and destruction of healthy tissue, making cancers grow, and people age at a faster rate. Wrinkles, hair loss, poor energy levels, joint pain, fatigue, and problems with sleep are also related to oxygen free radicals and accumulations of toxins in the body.
Thiocyanates are found in cruciferous vegetables. The most important one: Sulphurophane, is a powerful liver detoxifier, and anti-cancer molecule. Isothiocyanates boosts the body's ability to enzymatically convert toxic substances in the blood stream into compounds that are easy to expel in the urine. Most of this work takes place in the Liver in the form of Phase I and Phase II enzymes, which are supported by isothiocyanate.
Proteases/Peptidases- The suffix -ase denotes an enzyme which “breaks” up complex proteins in humans. In plants, these enzymes are responsible for fruit ripening and growth. The important characteristic of enzymes is that they function in a specific pH range related to the acidity and alkalinity of the environment. It is important to consume a variety of proteases across a spectrum, pH3—9. Important members in this enzyme category include serrapeptase, nattokinase, catalase, bromolein, papaine. Another important mention: Coenzyme Q 10 is a very important coenzyme involved in pain modulation, brain function, skin integrity, exercise performance, lung capacity and DNA aging.. It is found in green leafy veggies, but you can also get this from a supplement in the form of ubiquinol.
There are a variety of phyto-oils that exist, each with complex names. Here is a just a small list. Oleic acid, is found in large quantities in olive oil and sea buckthorn oil. r-ALA is found in nuts, especially nut milk such as almonds and walnuts. Palmitoleic acid will help in liver detox, fat burning, anti-inflammation and is found in sea-buckthorn oil. P.E.A.- Data suggests it may help support neuropathic pain and headaches.