Why A Diet Rich In Polyphenols Is Good For You
Plant-based diets have gotten a lot of great press coverage lately. Many have heard food writer Michael Pollan’s simple guidance, “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.”
So, what exactly makes plants so special, and why should we eat so many of them? Of course, they contain a wide variety of vitamins and minerals. But they also boast another class of nutrients called phytonutrients, of which a large percentage is known as polyphenols.
Are polyphenols good for you? Yes!
There are over 8,000 identified polyphenols found in fruits, veggies, seeds, beans, spices, and herbs and in everything from wine and turmeric to grape seeds and olive oil. Polyphenol is an umbrella term that includes nutrients such as flavonoids, anthocyanins, catechins, lignans and many others.
Polyphenols give plants their color, flavor, and aroma. And although they have their differences, polyphenols have much in common too. One thing’s for sure: we feel better and are healthier when we eat plenty of them!
Why Is a Diet Rich in Polyphenols So Good For You?
1. Polyphenols are antioxidants
Think of them as protectors that avert oxidative damage inside your cells — kind of like preventing your body from rusting on the inside.
2. Polyphenols take on inflammation (and win!)
Inflammation can cause damage to all kinds of cells throughout your body and underlies many forms of disease.
3. Polyphenols help your heart
Much research has identified polyphenols role in helping to maintain a healthy balance of cholesterol and blood pressure, and for enhancing the strength of your heart and blood vessels.
4. Polyphenols are brain boosters
As we age, our brains age too. Certain polyphenols can help offset this and support healthy memory and cognition.
5. Polyphenols support our skin
Our skin is prone to UV light harm and rapid aging. Plant-based chemicals can fight the free radicals that lead to damage.
6. Polyphenols boost our healthy flora
Polyphenols support the healthy microorganisms inside our gastrointestinal system that play a very important role in our overall state of health.
What Foods Contain Polyphenols?
There are two ways you can get amazing, healthful polyphenols into your system: foods and supplements. Is coffee high in polyphenols? What about tea and fruit? If your food grew on a tree, vine, under the ground, on a bush, or in a flower, it probably has some polyphenols. The following plant-based foods are known for being especially high in these health-boosting compounds.
With a variety of colors, scents, and flavors, fruits are polyphenol powerhouses. Which fruits contain polyphenols? Berries are well-known sources, including the commonly available blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, and raspberries. The berry with the most polyphenols is the black chokeberry. In addition to berries, polyphenol-rich fruits include black currants, plums, sweet cherries, and apples.
Black and green tea
Tea polyphenols are found in black and green tea leaves. Teas boast a number of other great health benefits as well, so if you need some warm and energizing comfort, brew up a cupful and enjoy the antioxidant infusion.
What about your morning pick-me-up? Is coffee high in polyphenols? The answer is yes! Coffee is one of the most polyphenol-rich beverages in the world. The polyphenols in coffee can help support your health in many ways.
A number of vegetables contain polyphenols, though not in as high concentrations as fruit. The most polyphenol-rich veggies include artichokes, chicory, red onions, and spinach.
Chocoholics rejoice—your favorite treat is filled with healthful polyphenols! The darker the chocolate, the more polyphenols it has.
It’s no wonder everyone agrees that fruits, vegetables, herbs, spices—and yes, chocolate— should be the foundation of a healthy lifestyle. Along with a healthful diet, the right polyphenol-containing supplements can assist you with your health goals. Here at Pure Synergy®, we’re on a mission to capture nature’s wisdom with our organic, plant-based supplements and extracts.