The world of food science is a complicated one, with new terms coming along all the time. We recognise that this can be a confusing world to navigate. Therefore, we’re committed to providing education through clear explanations of all the nutrients and chemicals contained in our products.
One term you might have come across but don’t fully understand is ‘polyphenols’. You’ve heard they’re good for you, but what exactly are they? Don’t worry - this article explains it all. Keep reading to find out what polyphenols are, why they’re so good for your health, and how to make sure you’re consuming enough of them.
What are Polyphenols?
We’ll start with the basics. The name polyphenol derives from the Ancient Greek word polus, meaning ‘many’ or ‘much’, while phenol refers to acids with a specific chemical structure and numerous bioactive properties. The term polyphenol has been in use since 1894.
You may have noticed polyphenols listed in the ingredient list of a range of wellness supplements, but what exactly are they? Well, they’re a kind of chemical compound that is found naturally in plants. Full of antioxidants, polyphenols are purported to have many health benefits. Certainly, most people who up their intake of polyphenols report feeling healthier.
As a chemical compound, the effectiveness of polyphenols depends on your body’s ability to absorb them. Therefore, it’s important to combine your consumption of polyphenols with other ingredients that aid absorption. For example, olive oil, coffee, tea, and vegetables seem to increase the bioavailability of polyphenols, allowing you to absorb more of them.
Polyphenols are found in a vast array of foods, which are listed below. The most important thing is to eat a varied and balanced diet of whole foods. If you do so, then you’ll be sure to increase your intake of this important substance. Of course, you can always increase your consumption of polyphenols further by taking daily supplements.
Keep reading to learn more about the health benefits you can get from polyphenols. Later, we will discover the most important sources of polyphenols so that you can effectively increase your intake.
What are the Health Benefits of Polyphenols?
There is always new research about polyphenols coming out, but we already know a lot about how they can improve your health. It’s important to note that the effect of polyphenols will be different on different people. Its level of effectiveness can be impacted by your genes.
Nevertheless, the beneficial effects of polyphenols may be thanks to their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. There is evidence they help protect against chronic diseases, including neurodegenerative diseases, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes. More recently, research has been focused on the impact of polyphenols on healthy ageing.
Adequate intakes of polyphenol-rich fruit and vegetables are also vital for optimal brain function. High intakes of polyphenols have also been shown to induce neurogenesis — the creation of new brain cells, a crucial factor in repairing damaged brain cells and preserving cognitive function.
Which Foods Contain Polyphenols?
Now that you know what polyphenols are and how incredible they can be for your health, you’re probably wondering how you can consume more of them. Well, it’s as simple as eating a wide range of healthy foods. Focus on the ones with the highest concentration of polyphenols.
Naturally, they occur densely in fruits and vegetables. In particular, you should up your intake of artichokes, red onions, spinach, chicory, plums, apples, sweet cherries, blackcurrants, blackberries, strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries. These are all packed with polyphenols.
Don’t worry, though; you can still enjoy a few treats. In particular, red wine and dark chocolate contain plenty of polyphenols, so enjoy them in moderation. Cocoa powder is particularly good, as are green tea, black tea, cloves, and soy.
As you can see, it’s possible to consume plenty of polyphenols while enjoying a wide and varied diet. If you rarely consume any of the food items listed above, then now is your opportunity to introduce more of them into your daily meals. Fortunately, the list of polyphenol-rich foods is full of sweet and delicious produce. You can eat the tastiest cuisine while still living a healthy lifestyle.
If you’ve adjusted your diet but still don’t feel like you’re getting enough polyphenols, then there’s another option: supplements. Whether you’re looking to increase your focus, sleep, or mood, there are specially curated products on the market that can help you bridge the gap.
Before buying or consuming any product, it’s important to check the ingredients closely. Make sure they contain exactly what you’re looking for. That means checking that they contain the substances that are lacking in your diet. In this case, you’re looking for anything containing high amounts of polyphenols.
For instance, this Cognifuel natural energy drink is packed with polyphenols. By taking this supplement alongside a healthy diet, you know that you’re increasing your polyphenol intake while enjoying all the other cognitive benefits of Cognifuel.
Hopefully, you now know all you need to know about polyphenols. If you hadn’t heard of them before, then this could be life-changing information. Perhaps this is the exact substance that was missing from your diet. Armed with this new knowledge, start adjusting your diet to allow for greater consumption of polyphenols. To speed up the process, consider taking supplements.