What Are Polyphenols?
Simply put, polyphenols are naturally occurring compounds found in fruits, vegetables, spices, nuts and other plants and food sources. he best source of polyphenols is from foods, according to The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Polyphenols play an important role in maintaining health and wellness because antioxidants help protect the cells in our bodies from free radicals. If you have little protection from free radicals, you allow them an open door to gain power and wreak havoc on your cells causing them to underperform and put your body at risk for disease.
Polyphenols are antioxidants and are found abundantly in natural plant food sources with antioxidant properties. There are over 8,000 identified polyphenols found in foods such as tea, wine, chocolates, fruits, vegetables, and extra virgin olive oil, to name a few.
Are Polyphenols the same as Flavonoids?
Flavoniods are a part of a group of Polyphenols which is a large class of chemical compounds synthesized by fruits, vegetables, teas, cocoa and other plants that possess specific health benefits.
Polyphenols Health Benefits
Polyphenols have been shown to improve a variety of health issues including: Reducing Inflammation and Blood Pressure, Lowering Cholesterol, Preventing Platelet Clumping, & Improving Artery Function. “In recent studies, healthier arteries were found in those who ate raw vegetables and avoided high-fat dairy products. Consumption of fresh fruit and avoidance of high-fat dairy products was also associated with less inflammation in the same subjects.” There are many studies on this topic from which you may glean more information. Here are just a few that you might find of interest:
Which Foods Are Highest In Polyphenols?
With summer around the corner, please find below some of the polyphenol-rich foods to load into your shopping bags/baskets at the local Farmer’s Markets. Remember – Organic is essential, otherwise you are consuming calories & chemicals vs. calories & nutrients.
Olives (Black & Green)
Onion (Red & Yellow)
Herbs & Seasonings:
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