Lifestyle

Best Ways to Get Polyphenols into Your Diet

Everyone always tells you to eat your fruits and vegetables, right? Well, it’s for good reason. They contain polyphenols!  

Polyphenols are the natural chemicals found in foods that can help prevent free radical damage in your body. And free radicals are unstable molecules that can destroy healthy tissues and cause numerous health problems.

So, you want polyphenols. And, if polyphenols are what you’re after, you might start wanting to add things like coffee and wine to your diet, too. 

Polyphenol Supplements 

The truth is that most of us aren’t getting enough polyphenols in our daily diet. Ideally, we could get a sufficient intake through the foods that we eat, but lifestyle and budget often prevent that from happening. 

Supplements are a great way to make up the difference. Gundry MD is a company that offers numerous products to supplement nutritional deficits, and one of those products is called Vital Reds. It’s a polyphenol-rich supplement that’s filled with 34 unique polyphenol extracts, along with a metabolic boosting blend and probiotics to help digestive health. 

But Vital Reds is only a supplement. Read on to learn about foods you can incorporate into your diet for a polyphenol-rich life!

What Foods Have the Highest Count of Polyphenols Per Serving (PPS)? 

First, you should know a number of different kinds of polyphenols are out there, so if you eat a variety of foods, you’ll likely get the healthiest diet possible. Start by finding your dietary polyphenols in lots of natural foods, like: 

  • Fruits 
  • Vegetables 
  • Tea 
  • Coffee 
  • Lectin-free cereal grains like millet 
  • And wine (Yes. Wine.) 

Polyphenols aren’t just the good-for-you chemicals; they are considered antioxidants which fight free radicals.1

Polyphenols are responsible for giving fruit, berries, and vegetables their vivid colors. They also have quite a bit to do with a food’s flavor and scent. But how many polyphenols are in a given food? And can the number of polyphenols in a food change under certain circumstances? 

Well, it turns out the number of polyphenols can change, depending on where that food is grown, how it’s farmed, and even how it’s transported from farm to table. Other factors include how ripe the fruit or vegetable is when it’s eaten, and even the way it’s cooked.  

For the most polyphenolic impact, remember: serving your food FRESH IS BEST.  

What are the exact benefits of polyphenols?

Now, because plants make these compounds in order to help them defend themselves against threats, like insects or too much sun exposure, they can help defend your system against similar threats. And they’ll do an even better job once they’re metabolized by your good gut bacteria.

  1. Fight Oxidative Stress — One of the Causes of Aging 

The older you get, the more your body is forced to deal with destructive changes to its cells and tissues. You see, your body’s always defending itself against oxidative stress; but as you get older, the rate of damage can increase because your body’s ability to heal slows down. 

So, you want to make sure you’re getting your polyphenols from vegetables, the right nuts, and lectin-free, in-season fruits. 

That’s because polyphenols have active qualities to help protect your skin. In fact, according to recent studies, you really can consider polyphenols to be helpful, anti-aging compounds.

2. Polyphenols Are GoodforYour Heart 

Another amazing benefit of polyphenols is their superhero power to help lower your blood pressure and help your body regulate proper blood clotting.

Research shows polyphenol consumption might help reduce your risk of various heart health issues. For instance, a polyphenol-rich diet might lower your risk of decreased blood flow.

3. Polyphenols Help Support Healthy Cognitive Function

Now, oxidative stress doesn’t just affect your skin — it takes its toll on all types of cells. Sometimes, that means it can cause your brain to function poorly.  

But, polyphenols have significant antioxidative power to help you protect yourself from neurological issues. In fact, polyphenols can also support cognitive cell functions, like –

  • Cell Differentiation – when a cell changes from its initial cell type to another cell type 
  • Proliferation – the reproduction of a cell, or even a body part 
  • Signaling – sending messages to your brain so it responds to itself or your environment 
  • Apoptosis – cell death that’s a part of your body’s ability to grow4

Top Foods with Polyphenols 

Polyphenols in Spices
Spices are one of the richest sources of phenolic acids (a type of polyphenol) and are distributed throughout the entire plant in which their found. So, you can eat any part of the plant and reap the benefits.  

Not only that, but phenolic acids are believed to protect people against a bunch of different ailments and cardiovascular issues.5  

You can find a significant amount of caffeic acid, ferulic acid (found in coffee), vanillin, or coumaric acid in everyday spices and herbs, including –  

  • Clove
  • Cinnamon
  • Oregano
  • Rosemary6 

Fruit and Polyphenols
Now, you’ve likely heard about flavonoids before. They’re the most famous polyphenol out there, and they’re the largest group of polyphenols, too. In fact, you can find them all over nature in herbs, citrus fruit, and berries. 

Polyphenol Beverages 

Turns out, there are a few beverages that are good sources of polyphenols. Believe it or not, coffee provides the most polyphenols per serving (PPS). Let’s repeat — coffee offers the highest polyphenol content of any beverage. So, there’s no need to dismiss your morning cup o’ joe.  

Tea should also be consumed regularly for its high polyphenol content. Black tea has a polyphenol content of 102 mg PPS and green tea has about 89 PPS. 

And when it comes to alcoholic beverages, red wine has a whopping 202 mg polyphenols per glass. While white wine and hot cocoa don’t quite hit that mark, they’re still good choices when you’re trying to up your polyphenol intake.7 

So then, what fruits have the most polyphenols?

There are many different kinds of in-season fruits that have polyphenols. You’ll want to look for polyphenols in the following.

Blackberries — 260 mg pps
Strawberries — 235 mg pps
Raspberries — 215 mg pps

Avocados are high in polyphenols as well.

What vegetables have polyphenols?

Lots of vegetables contain polyphenols, but the following veggies offer a special polyphenol boost.

Jerusalem artichokes — 260 mg pps
Chicory — 166 to 235 mg pps
Spinach — 119 mg pps

And cruciferous vegetables, like broccoli, are fantastic too.

That’s a Wrap

In the end, polyphenols are all around.

Do yourself a big favor and try to up your polyphenol intake by eating more of these great polyphenol-rich foods.
 

  • In-season berries
  • Cloves
  • Capers
  • Ginger
  • Cumin
  • Cinnamon
  • Peppermint
  • Oregano
  • Sage
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Basil
  • Parsley
  • Coffee
  • Cocoa
  • Green tea
  • Black tea
  • Red wine
  • Pecans and walnuts
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Sesame oil
  • Coconut oil
  • 70% Dark chocolate

Whether you get your polyphenols from fruits, other foods, drinks, or the Vital Reds supplement, you shouldn’t miss out on one of the planet’s most natural, safe, and enjoyable health helpers — polyphenols.

Sources 

  1. https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/79/5/727/4690182
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24791917
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20102149
  4. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0955286312001076
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19136666
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16190627
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2903024/
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