Print the Phytochemicals in your Food reading
comprehension passage and questions (see
Students should read the passage
silently, then answer the questions. Teachers may also use the text as
part of a classroom lesson plan.
Did you know that the fruits and vegetables you eat are loaded with chemicals? The chemicals in fruits and vegetables are called phytochemicals (pronounced “fight-o-chemicals”), to be exact. Not only that, but these chemicals are good for you! Is it hard to believe that chemicals can be good for you? Well, in this case, it's true! “Phyto” is a Greek word that means plant, so phytochemicals are natural parts of plants.
One of the most important reasons for eating fruits and vegetables is for the phytochemicals they contain. Phytochemicals are very powerful. They are chemicals that are made by nature, not in factories. They are parts of fruits and vegetables that work with vitamins and other nutrients to help protect your body from many serious diseases. Because of the way phytochemicals work together with vitamins, for example, eating fresh fruits and vegetables is better for you than taking vitamin pills alone, even though it is sometimes easier to just take a pill.
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