Plant polyphenols are a type of phytochemical found in a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and grains. These compounds are responsible for the vivid colors and flavors found in many plant-based foods, and they have been shown to have numerous potential health benefits.*
One of the key benefits of plant polyphenols is their ability to act as antioxidants. Antioxidants help to protect the body's cells from damage caused by harmful molecules known as free radicals. Free radicals are produced naturally by the body, but they can also be introduced into the body through environmental toxins and other sources. Over time, the accumulation of free radicals might lead to a number of health issues in specific populations.*
One of the best ways to incorporate plant polyphenols into your diet is by eating a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and grains. Fruits and vegetables that are rich in plant polyphenols include berries, apples, pears, citrus fruits, leafy greens, and cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and Brussels sprouts. Nuts and seeds that are high in plant polyphenols include almonds, walnuts, and flaxseeds. Grains such as whole wheat, oats, and quinoa are also good sources of plant polyphenols.
Choosing the right foods
In addition to eating a varied diet, you can also increase your intake of plant polyphenols by choosing foods that are prepared in ways that preserve their nutritional value. For example, cooking fruits and vegetables at high temperatures or for long periods of time can destroy some of their polyphenols. Instead, try steaming, boiling, or roasting your fruits and vegetables, and be sure to eat them as soon as possible after cooking to maximize their nutritional value.
Another way to increase your intake of plant polyphenols is by choosing foods that are rich in these compounds and using them in your cooking. For example, you can add berries to your oatmeal or smoothies, use nuts and seeds as toppings for your salads or yogurt, and incorporate whole grains into your meals. You can also try using herbs and spices, which are also high in plant polyphenols, to add flavor to your dishes. You can also have a cup of coffee or tea.
In addition to the potential health benefits mentioned above, plant polyphenols have also been shown to have other potential benefits for overall health and wellness. Some research suggests that plant polyphenols may help to reduce inflammation, support cardiovascular health, and even support brain health. However, more research is needed to fully understand the potential health benefits of plant polyphenols and how they may be able to support overall health and wellness.*
Overall, incorporating plant polyphenols into your diet is a simple and delicious way to support your health and wellness. By eating a varied diet that includes a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and grains, you can increase your intake of these powerful phytochemicals and potentially reap the many potential health benefits they might offer.*
As always, talk to your doctor before following a specific diet or taking any polyphenol supplements. Get professional advice if you think you might need a polyphenol supplement or are already taking one to ensure you're not exceeding the amounts you may need.