What are polyphenols – Your body is under constant assault from both the stuff that happens inside and the stuff that happens outside.
One of the things we constantly have to deal with is unstable molecules called free radicals.
These nasty little chemicals are unstable, and as such, they tend to cause a lot of damage to us on a microscopic scale.
This microscopic damage adds up and begins to affect us on a macroscopic scale.
What happens with free radicals is their unstable charges mess with the molecular stability of the body’s cell membranes.
As you can imagine, damage or destruction of this essential structure ruins the integrity of the entire cell, leading to premature cell death.
When enough cells die at an accelerated rate, the tissues which they form or the functions they carry out begin to degrade.
When this degradation is at a rate higher than natural cell genesis, the effects of aging come quicker and more pronounced.
It also leads to a slow down in metabolic activity and may also increase the risk of cancer.
But fear not, this is a natural problem and therefore has a natural solution.
The solution comes in the form of antioxidants.
These helpful chemicals clean up and neutralize free radicals, reducing the impact of oxidative stress.
There are many different antioxidants, some are produced in the body while others are introduced through the food we eat.
One important group of antioxidants is the polyphenols.
What Are Polyphenols ?
Polyphenols are a group of plant compounds with potent antioxidant properties.
They have a long list of reported benefits ranging from digestive health, blood glucose management, weight loss, and cardiovascular health.
They are common in many healthy foods with strong aromas or pigments, which usually indicates the presence of some sort of antioxidants.
In this article, we’re going to peer into some of the top food sources of polyphenols and any other benefits they may have.
Top 5 Foods High In Polyphenols
Olive oil is revered for its health benefits. Know to contain an abundance of healthy chemical compounds including fatty acid oleic acid, its benefits warrant an article of its own.
Olive oil contains oleic acid, which has been proven to boost cardiovascular health and even boos testosterone production in males.
What are polyphenols , olive oil contains roughly 20 antioxidants in this class. The most effective being Hydroxytyrosol, Oleocanthal, and Oleuropein.
The antioxidant effects of olive oil have been theorized as the reason for the youthful appearance of people in regions that traditionally have a high olive oil consumption as part of their diet.
Thyme is a popular cooking herb. As with many polyphenol containing foods, the strong aroma is often an indicator of their presence.
Thyme already contains vitamin C and A, useful antioxidants in their own right.
The polyphenol content of thyme is best enjoyed through its oil extract and is one of the reasons why thyme oil is often prescribed as a healthy hair treatment.
Oregano, foods high in polyphenols. Yet another fragrant herb has a similar story to thyme but boosted several times over in terms of health efficacy.
That’s because oregano, or rather, oregano oil has an incredible list of health benefits.
It is a powerful natural antibiotic with reported anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral qualities.
It’s also a great anti-inflammatory.
As far as antioxidant action is concerned, oregano is packed with numerous polyphenolic agents.
Cocoa and Dark Chocolate
You might be super stoked to know that chocolate is healthy for you.
But don’t get too excited, we’re talking about natural, dark chocolate and pure cocoa. What are polyphenols, sugary chocolate flavored confectionery doesn’t count for obvious reasons.
Cocoa has a known effect on boosting mood due to the stimulated release of endorphins.
Cocoa is also a source of essential minerals copper, iron, zinc and phosphorous
Aside from making you feel extra good and packing some healthy minerals, cocoa and dark chocolate are rich in polyphenols.
The polyphenols in dark chocolate include catechin, epicatechin, and procyanidins.
Berries have long been known for being the healthiest variety of fruits this foods high in polyphenols.
With loads of soluble fiber, an impressive essential nutrient profile.
Coming packed with vitamins and minerals which already serve as antioxidants in their own right, berries such as Aronia, blueberries, and strawberries are also loaded with polyphenols.
It’s the pigments in their skins that have all the goodness.
Getting your antioxidants is an important part of maintaining a good healthy lifestyle.
Your metabolism, digestive system, immune system, and all your cells and tissue rely on these chemicals for maintenance.
You’re also tapping into some amazing anti-aging benefits as well.