Antioxidants and polyphenols are present in a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, and plants. They are also present in foods that have been dried for an extended length of time. These include foods like raisins or prunes, both of which contain polyphenols and antioxidants.
Polyphenols and antioxidants have several health advantages since they combat free radicals that lead to aging while also boosting bone health. Additionally, polyphenols may aid in reducing the risk of cancer, heart disease, and other chronic illnesses.
Have you consumed enough polyphenols?
You probably consume polyphenols daily without even recognizing them.
Even if you may already be consuming some of these micronutrients in your daily diet, it would be a good idea to increase your intake of them.
These distinct antioxidants have been demonstrated to be excellent “life-enhancing” substances that benefit our systems in a variety of ways.
Polyphenols may be found in a variety of foods, including fruits, nuts, legumes, vegetables, and spices. You can add even more to your everyday meals with a little effort.
Benefits of Polyphenols
- It is assessed if polyphenols have the preventive benefits that have been theorized for both acute and chronic illnesses, such as obesity, neurological disorders, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases.
- Polyphenol-rich diets protect against some malignancies, cardiovascular illnesses, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, pancreatitis, gastrointestinal difficulties, lung damage, and neurological disorders over time.
- The “biochemical scavenger theory” proposes that polyphenolic substances neutralize free radicals by creating stable chemical complexes, which stop further reactions. Furthermore, some studies proved polyphenols defend against oxidative stress by creating hydrogen peroxide, which in turn helps to control immune response behaviors like cellular proliferation.
- By interacting with proteins that are involved in gene expression and cell communication, polyphenols suppress pro-inflammatory transcription factors, providing protection from a number of chronic illnesses caused by inflammation.
- The cellular proliferation of polyphenols that are suspected to be anti-carcinogenic is assumed to be arrested by causing cell aging or apoptotic death of cells. Additionally, tumor cells may be specifically affected by polyphenols due to their distinct redox state.
- In epidemiological, animal, and human investigations, anthocyanins have been linked to both the treatment and prevention of type 2 diabetes.
- Some polyphenols have been shown to protect against neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Huntington’s.
- Red wine was linked to a lower incidence of neurodegenerative disorders, and a type of polyphenols, epigallocatechin gallate, blocked a neurotoxin known to cause Parkinson’s-like disease.
- According to studies, the fact that foods high in polyphenols are nutrient-dense as opposed to energy-dense, resulting in a lower calorie consumption overall, may confuse the reduced risk of obesity linked to eating foods high in polyphenols.
- EGCG and other catechin polyphenols have been linked to antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-mutagenic properties.
- Blueberries, which are high in anthocyanins, help to prevent weight gain by reducing inflammation and modifying obesity pathways.
- Dietary curcumin supplementation reduced obesity and hepatic fatty acid production while increasing fatty acid oxidation.
- The possible interactions of polyphenols with gut bacteria are an emerging topic of research in the science of polyphenols. Evidence shows that these interactions may also influence possible benefits on chronic disease risk, such as enhanced insulin sensitivity and polyphenols’ osteoprotective and hepatoprotective properties.
- Polyphenols’ antioxidant qualities are used by food producers and processors by adding them to foods and beverages such as meats and beer so that they may be sacrificed to stop the oxidation of other molecules in the food, such as lipids, to boost shelf stability.
- The antioxidant polyphenols in these extracts might cause meats to start serving as a dietary source of polyphenols as their potential usage spreads.
Why You Should Increase Your Polyphenol Consumption
Although the jury is yet out, preliminary evidence strongly shows that polyphenols might help protect against illnesses including diabetes, osteoporosis, and neurological disorders.
Additionally, they may aid in the prevention of cardiovascular disease and cancer.
Polyphenols appear to have anti-inflammatory and anti-platelet characteristics, which means they assist regulate blood flow and prevent blood clotting. Numerous foods on this list have also been associated with enhanced cognitive performance and with reducing the risk of aging-related disorders like dementia.
In spite of the fact that many of our diets probably already include some polyphenols, increasing the number of antioxidants in your meals may be a wise choice for enhancing general health.
Here are the top 12 foods to eat to increase your intake of polyphenols and boost your health, without further hesitation.
Green tea, which has its roots in China and has been used there for thousands of years, has earned a reputation as a “wonder drink” with many health advantages. Since each cup includes many amounts of these antioxidants, polyphenols are to blame for these health advantages.
The improvement of brain health and cognitive function, as well as a decreased risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, are among the health advantages of green tea.
The tea has been demonstrated to enhance oral health, decrease inflammation, and help with weight loss and enhance athletic performance.
Cardiovascular disease has also been discovered to have an inverse relationship with green tea. Cardiovascular disease risk was observed to decrease by 5% with daily consumption of just one cup of green tea.
Apples, like many fruits, are high in antioxidants. Polyphenols are prevalent in fruit, and studies have shown that frequent apple eating has significant health advantages.
One placebo-controlled research emphasized these possible health advantages and strongly recommends that apples are an excellent addition to any diet.
It has also been demonstrated that apples reduce cholesterol. However, it is unclear whether this impact is caused by the beneficial soluble fiber in apples or the polyphenols.
Apple juice is also good for health, although it appears that entire apples are more potent. This is because apples contain these beneficial antioxidants and fiber in both the skin and the flesh apple, which is why they are so beneficial.
Apples are an excellent fruit to include in your diet since they are high in antioxidants. There’s no better option than this. Simply take an apple and eat it while riding the metro in the morning or as a tasty evening snack.
It may come as a surprise, but chocolate is another rich source of polyphenols. One of the tastiest ways to include polyphenols in your diet is through milk chocolate or dark chocolate, both of which are excellent providers of antioxidants.
Milk and dark chocolate both include flavonoids, which have been firmly related to the enhancement of heart health.
Even while both kinds of chocolate have these healthy antioxidants, dark chocolate has a higher concentration, making it the better choice to eat. Dark chocolate is unquestionably the healthier choice because it has significantly lower sugar content.
A limited quantity of chocolate and dark chocolate, according to one study, is associated with a decreased risk of heart disease and stroke.
It is advisable to consume chocolate in moderation, as consuming too much of the delicacy might be harmful to your health. Avoid overindulging since the added fat and sugar may not be worth the health advantages, and if you have a choice, choose dark chocolate because it is generally considered to be healthier.
Pecans, like other nuts, are an excellent source of micronutrients. Pecans have been demonstrated to reduce cholesterol levels since they are packed with beneficial unsaturated fat. More than 19 vitamins and minerals are also present in the nut, including vitamins A, B, and E, calcium, phosphorus, folic acid, magnesium, potassium, and zinc.
Polyphenols, which are special antioxidants, are abundant in nutritious nuts. Increased pecan consumption has been linked to several health benefits, according to studies. Pecans were demonstrated in one research to have improved lipid profiles.
Eating pecans has also been linked to an increase in our blood’s antioxidant capacity. Pecans also aid in the prevention of LDL-oxidation in people. Whether you want to munch on raw pecans, make your beloved pecan pie, or include pecans into your favorite trail mix, this delectable nut is another excellent source of polyphenols and antioxidants.
Coffee has occasionally been contentious and thought to have harmful impacts on health, but more recently it has been connected to excellent health and has been shown to have many benefits that much exceed any potential drawbacks.
Due to its high polyphenol content, coffee is really one of the main unnoticed ways that many individuals get beneficial antioxidants. It has been demonstrated to be one of the best sources of antioxidants in the modern American diet.
Coffee should be used in moderation due to its high caffeine level. It’s also recommended to use minimal sugar if you’re drinking the beverage. Thus, proceed. Drink that coffee to get that burst of energy and to reap the benefits of the antioxidants.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Extra virgin olive oil, in particular, has a high concentration of polyphenols and is another food that has been found to have a number of health advantages.
The Mediterranean diet, which is popular in Mediterranean nations and is regarded to offer significant health advantages, is distinguished by the addition of this specific oil. It’s simple to understand why, given its various health advantages.
It’s unknown if the power of olive oil is due to the beneficial fats it contains or the polyphenols, but it’s most likely a mix of both.
Some of the health advantages associated with the usage of olive oil include the prevention of some malignancies, stroke, metabolic syndrome, and heart disease.
Green tea isn’t the only beverage with health advantages. Because it is sourced from the same plant species as green tea, black tea provides very similar advantages. The sole difference between the two teas is how the leaves are prepared.
Black tea contains a variety of antioxidants, some of which are more prevalent than others. If you enjoy tea, consuming both green and black tea can provide you with health advantages and a wider range of antioxidant types.
Black tea, like green tea, includes several beneficial antioxidant kinds, including polyphenols, and is an excellent method to improve general health. Black tea consumption is regarded to be advantageous for maintaining cardiovascular health and preventing cancer.
Blueberries are another berry that contains polyphenols and are a popular way to get antioxidants into your body. A lot of noteworthy investigations have revealed their numerous advantages. These studies have been utilized to demonstrate the link between improved age-related cognitive function deficiencies and older adults’ better cognitive function and memory.
In obese individuals, blueberries have also been proven to reduce cardiovascular risk factors, and a different study has found that blueberries can lower the risk of heart attacks in young women.
Cinnamon consumption may be something to think about if you’re searching for an easy approach to increasing your intake of polyphenols. You will undoubtedly experience the additional advantages if you try adding a little cinnamon to your favorite dish or your daily coffee.
Studies have shown that consuming cinnamon has a lot of health advantages since it contains a significant number of polyphenols.
Cinnamon has been proven in studies to lower triglyceride levels and fasting plasma glucose.
Cinnamon is also good for your cholesterol levels. The spice has been proven to enhance levels of “good” cholesterol, HDL-C, while decreasing levels of “bad” cholesterol, LDL.
Blackcurrants are another excellent source of polyphenols. These rich purple berries, a summertime favorite, are very nutritious and contain a variety of elements that are difficult to obtain from other sources.
The polyphenol content of the fruits is astounding. According to research, persons who consume blackcurrants on a daily basis reap several health benefits.
For instance, a 2014 study compared the fruit’s impact on study participants to placebo and discovered that those who ingested blackcurrants concurrently improved their vascular health and reduced their oxidative stress.
It’s recommended to drink alcohol in moderation, but if you do, red wine is generally the best option. Red wine has a high polyphenol content and has been shown to improve health in a number of ways. Red wine is particularly high in a polyphenol known as “resveratrol.”
Several health advantages have been associated with resveratrol. Red wine consumption helps reduce inflammation. Red wine’s resveratrol also aids in blood flow by telling vessels to widen.
Red wine, like many of the other foods on this list, has been connected to cardiovascular health.
Turmeric, like cinnamon, is another spice that contains polyphenols. Turmeric’s primary ingredient, curcumin, makes utilizing spice a terrific method to get those antioxidants into your body.
Turmeric is well recognized as the principal component in curry, but it may also be found in mustard, as well as several butter and cheese variants.
Spice is another one of those wonder foods that have been employed for many years to treat a wide range of diseases and disorders. There is no denying that turmeric contains anti-inflammatory characteristics, and it also benefits the body’s circulation.
Turmeric may also promote digestion and have a good influence on neurodegenerative illnesses such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and multiple sclerosis.
Turmeric has also been shown to decrease cholesterol while raising beneficial HDL cholesterol, according to research.
Our health may benefit greatly from polyphenols, a fantastic type of vitamin and antioxidant. It seems that you may have enough polyphenols in your diet, even though certain foods—like chocolate and red wine—should be taken in moderation.
These antioxidants are an excellent method to remain healthy and lower your risk of several common ailments. Adding as many of these items to your diet as you will help reduce your chance of contracting a number of ailments.
You may increase your cognitive abilities, age better, protect your heart health, reduce your chance of cancer, and feel fantastic by including the aforementioned items in your regular meals.