Healthy Nutrition: What Are the Best Foods Rich in Polyphenols

You have probably heard how antioxidants are beneficial to our cells. One of the absorbable forms, polyphenols are micronutrients that fall into that category.

Polyphenols are substances in plants that give them color. They are also believed to boost the plants’ defensive mechanism. When we consume them, we can also boost our health and immune system.

Currently, there are over 8000 polyphenols in various foods. In tea, fruit, vegetables, wine, oils, and many others. If you wonder what are the best foods rich in polyphenols, read this article.

Types and Benefits of Polyphenols

They exist in various types of food. But, polyphenols themselves have many types and subtypes. The four common types are:

  • Flavonoids: Flavonoids have many different subtypes. They have good anti-inflammatory properties. You can find them in legumes, red wine, tea, fruit, vegetables.
  • Phenolic acids: Powerful antioxidants that we consume in large quantities. Coffee, corn, kiwi, apple, cherries, grapes, berries, and many other foods are rich in them.
  • Lignans: Lignans may improve cardiovascular health. But, this may be difficult to achieve. Cereals, grains, legumes, and algae usually contain them. You probably can’t eat too much of those!
  • Stilbenes: Eating foods that contain stilbenes can improve your heart rate. You can find it in red wine, peanuts, and blueberries.

Polyphenols, like other antioxidants, regulate the health of cells. This may help in preventing cancer and other cell-related diseases. This nutrient can help with:

  • Fighting cancer: Since they are antioxidant, they can prevent cell damage and make it more difficult for cancer cells to form
  • Preventing Alzheimer’s and dementia: The antioxidant traits may prevent degradation of nerve cells.
  • Rapid aging: Polyphenols are protecting the cells from free radicals. These molecules are one of the primary causes of aging.
  • Protecting skin from the sun’s UV rays
  • Regulating blood pressure
  • Regulating and preventing type 2 diabetes: Polyphenols may lower insulin resistance in your body
  • Soothing inflammation
  • Helping with weight loss
  • Prolonging lifespan
  • Improving heart health

What Are the Best Foods Rich in Polyphenols?

There are plenty of polyphenol-rich foods rich that can replace your everyday diet. You may consume some every day. If you believe you can further improve your nutrition with polyphenols, these are the foods to consider:

1. Apples

One of the favorite healthy snack of both experts and common people. You have probably heard the saying ’’an apple a day keeps the doctor away’’. This is because of its various positive traits. It has antioxidant, immune system boosting and cholesterol-reducing properties.

Both the skin and the flesh of an apple have high amounts of polyphenols. Be careful with apple juice though. The high amounts of sugar and calories in the juice may negate all the positive effects. If you want to fully reap the rewards of an apple, make sure you consume it in its original form!

2. Red Wine

Red wine has a special type of polyphenol – resveratrol. Studies have shown that this nutrient may have a positive effect on your health. It may decrease inflammation, regulates blood flow and keeps the heart rate in good order.

Don’t drink too much or it becomes counterproductive. Maybe you are tempted to drink a bottle of red wine every day, but that won’t be good for you. Drinking a glass or two every day should be perfect.

3. Chokeberry (Aronia)

Aronia has gone up in popularity in recent years. Researchers have discovered many benefits of consuming this superfood. It aids the digestive tract along with its antioxidant properties. It can boost your immunity and may even improve vision.

This berry got its name from its dryness. This makes you sometimes feel like you choking from eating them. Because of this, chokeberry is more popular in liquid form as a daily supplement.

4. Chocolate

Eating chocolate in moderation may improve your cardiovascular health. This includes both milk and dark chocolate. Some studies have shown that you should eat chocolate that contains more than 70 percent cocoa for the best effects. This can help with reducing bad cholesterol and blood pressure.

Since eating 100g of chocolate daily is by no means good for you, you should do it in moderation. About 150 calories every day would be enough. That means around a quarter of a chocolate bar. Not bad, right?

5. Mexican Oregano

Mexican oregano, or ’’the pizza herb’’, is rich in polyphenols. It contains a high amount of flavonoids. One of the flavonoids in this herb is naringenin, which may improve metabolism and obesity. Another flavonoid is cirsimaritin, which also helps in losing weight.

6. Olive Oil

Not any olive oil, but extra virgin. This type of olive oil doesn’t go through so many processing phases. So, it has high levels of polyphenols and is the healthiest.

The presence of healthy fats in this oil makes it even more attractive. It may help prevent stroke, metabolic syndrome, cancer and many other conditions.

7. Spearmint

Spearmint is an aromatic herb of a distinctive scent. Because of this, it has found uses in various industries.

In diet, you can use it as an essential oil, an ingredient or herbal tea. It is rich in polyphenols but it has many other benefits. It may help with reducing stress, toothache, fatigue, and stress.

8. Chestnut

Chestnuts many healthy substances. Minerals, vitamins, polyphenols, and many others. They share the benefits of other antioxidant food. Also, they may have some distinctive properties.

They may help in keeping your bones healthy and strong. This is because of the high levels of copper and magnesium. Also, they should aid in fighting gastrointestinal problems. Thanks to a large amount of dietary fiber, they can keep your digestive tract in good health.

Wrap up: Are There Risks?

Polyphenols themselves are not risky, but some food that contains them could be. Too much chocolate or wine is never good for your health. If you are allergic to a certain type of food, you should also be careful.

These are just some of the best foods rich in polyphenol. There are various meals beside them that you may like,

If you combine them and keep your diet reasonable and healthy, you may see a lot of progress. Higher energy levels, better immune system, less fatigue and better skin condition, too. You can’t harm yourself by it, so you should embrace it. Polyphenols are probably already a part of your diet!

 

References:

https://utswmed.org/medblog/polyphenols/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5601283/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2835915/

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