Phytonutrients (phyto- meaning plant) are chemicals or compounds that are naturally produced by all plants. These nutrients are typically released to either aid in further cell growth, or to fend off pests, bacteria, plant viruses, infections, and other dangers. These may also aid in making the plant repulsive to herbivorous predators. These phytonutrients can be beneficial to humans, serving as antioxidants and essential sources of vitamins, or dangerous, serving as poisons or toxins.
Also referred to as: phytochemical