Foods High in Polyphenols 1

Foods High in Polyphenols

Polyphenols is a term used to describe the large amount of plant-based molecules which have antioxidant properties. They are divided into four main groups – phenolic acids, lignans, stilbenes, and flavonoids.

They have been used as part of Chinese medicine for centuries, but Western science is continuing to investigate the effects polyphenols can have on things like inflammation, skin health, brain function, blood sugar, blood pressure, general cardiovascular health and even fat loss.

Here we’ll look at the different benefits and highlight some of the foods high in polyphenols which you should look to add to your diet.

Phenolic Acids

Phenolic acids are found in various plant-based food, and tend to be most abundant in the skin and eaves of certain fruits and vegetables. They may be beneficial to your health when eaten regularly by reducing inflammation and preventing cellular damage as a result of free radical oxidation reactions.

Lignans

Lignans are the primary dietary phytoestrogens in the Western diet, and help regulate the body’s estrogen production. There are various benefits associated with regular consumption of lignans, including supporting breast and prostate health, better blood glucose metabolism, cardiovascular health and maintaining a healthy body weight.

Stilbenes

There are two main stilbenes of note, resveratrol and pterostilbene. Resveratrol is commonly found in grape skins and red wine, and has shown promising results in lab tests on animals when it comes to reducing inflammation and working as an antioxidant. There’s almost no information on the use of resveratrol in humans, though it’s thought that obtaining a meaningful amount would be difficult through diet alone.

Pterostilbene is mostly found in blueberries and grapes, and like resveratrol there is very little information about the effect is has on humans. Lab tests have shown promise in preventing cancer and cardiovascular disease in animals, but as yet there are no studies on human consumption.

Flavonoids

Flavonoids are phytonutrients found in a range of plant based foods. They may play a role in cancer prevention caused by free radical damage, as well as helping to improve cardiovascular health. They may also help with chronic conditions such as diabetes and osteoporosis, however research into the health benefits of flavonoids is still in the early stages.

Polyphenol Rich Foods

The general rules for maximising our intake of polyphenols is to eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains and nuts. Certain types of food are higher in different types of polyphenols, so if you’re looking to maximise your intake you should aim to eat more of the foods below:

Phenolic Acids

  • Mangos
  • Berries
  • Apples
  • Citrus Fruits
  • Plums
  • Cherries
  • Kiwis
  • Onions
  • Tea
  • Coffee
  • Red Wine
  • Flour Made From Whole Wheat
  • Rice
  • Corn
  • Oats

Lignans

  • Flax Seeds
  • Whole Grains
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Cashews
  • Kale
  • Broccoli
  • Berries

Stilbenes

  • Grape Skins
  • Red Wine
  • Peanuts
  • Blueberries
  • Cranberries

Flavonoids

  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries
  • Bananas
  • Grapefruit
  • Lemons
  • Limes
  • Oranges
  • Black Beans
  • Kidney Beans
  • Walnuts
  • Pecans
  • Pistachios
  • Cashews
  • Peppers
  • Tomatoes
  • Eggplants
  • Red Onions
  • Green Onions
  • Celery
  • Snap Beans
  • Okra
  • Broccoli
  • Unprocessed Fruit Juices
  • Unprocessed Vegetable Juices
  • Red Wine
  • Black Tea
  • Red Tea
  • Green Tea

http://www.nature.com/ejcn/journal/v64/n3s/fig_tab/ejcn2010221t1.html

http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/79/5/727.full

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyphenol

http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/81/1/215S.full

http://nutritionadvance.com/low-carb-foods-high-polyphenols-antioxidants/

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