6 Ways Polyphenols Boost Your Health
Polyphenols are health-boosting compounds with antioxidant capabilities that are found in a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, spices, teas, dark chocolate and red wine.
Some specific examples are apples, asparagus, artichokes, berries, black beans, broccoli, citrus fruits, dark chocolate, endive, flaxseed meal, green tea, green onions, ginger, olives, olive oil, pecans, pomegranates, shallots, spices (cinnamon, turmeric, basil, parsley, peppermint, rosemary, thyme, etc.) spinach, walnuts, white beans to name a few. They work their magic by tamping down free radicals that we as humans generate during the normal course of living.
According to Dr. Frank Lipman, a functional medicine expert, when we breathe and eat, for example, we produce molecules called free radicals, which in normal amounts, help to drive our immune systems. Too much free radicals, however, become a fertile ground for inflammation and damage the DNA in our cells, a precursor for all kinds of diseases.
Polyphenols, with their antioxidant power, neutralize this kind of environment. Here are six ways polyphenols keep you healthy
1. Whole Body Health
Polyphenols use their antioxidant power to tamp down inflammation.
2. Heart Health
When we eat foods rich in polyphenols we lower LDL cholesterol, the bad one and promote higher HDL, the good one. In addition, polyphenols lower blood pressure by promoting nitric oxide which relaxes the blood vessels.
3. Metabolic Health
Polyphenol rich diets have been known to lower blood sugar and improve insulin sensitivity thereby reducing the risk of diabetes.
4. Gut Health
When it comes to gut health, polyphenols act as a prebiotic, feeding the good bacteria in the gut, where the resulting fermented food produces the important short chain fatty acid, butyrate, which strengthens the gut wall and prevents leaky gut, inflammation and diseases.
5. Cancer Protection
A diverse, plant rich diet, especially those rich in polyphenols, according to the latest research, is beneficial against cancer prevention.
6. Brain Health
According to Dr. Frank Lipman’s article on the benefits of polyphenols, preliminary research shows that both grape juice and cocoa polyphenols can boost memory performance
We know that eating a diversity of plant fiber is beneficial for optimizing gut health. By including polyphenols in the mix, you'll be well on your way to boosting your overall health.
Written by Jennifer Chambers