What is it? Polyphenols. They are suddenly being talked about. Research in the last few years have shown that they are good—in fact, very good—for our health. But now they are being called the future of human nutrition. So what are they?
If you didn’t know: Polyphenols are micronutrients that we get from plant-based foods. They are the unique chemicals that give plant foods their colour. There are more than 500 unique polyphenols. The dietary recommendation of polyphenols is one gram per day.
Why do they matter? Polyphenols are great for your health:
-Lower blood pressure
-Improve heart and artery function
-Improve learning and memory processes
-Act as a pain reliever
-Reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes
-Combat cell damage and inflammation
-Has a role in obesity regulation
-Fight against ultraviolet rays and radiation
-May protect against certain cancers
-Impact genes and gene expression
-Check age-related cognitive changes
-Increase life span
Where can you find them?
-Fruits: oranges, apples, grapes, pomegranate juice, black jamun, cranberries, plums, apricots, -in all red fruits
-Vegetables: spinach, onions, potatoes, black and green olives, broccoli, carrots
-Whole grains: whole grain wheat and oat flours
-Nuts, seeds, legumes: roasted soybeans, black beans, white beans, almonds, walnuts, flaxseed
-Beverages: coffee, black and green tea, red wine
-Fats: dark chocolate, virgin olive oil, sesame seed oil
-Spices and seasonings: unprocessed cocoa powder, saffron, turmeric, dried oregano, rosemary, thyme, basil, ginger, cumin, cinnamon, soy sauce
Need a few extra tips? Quick and easy sources for Indians:
Want to know more? Here are some quick ones:
-Ayurveda recommends polyphenol-rich plant foods in certain medical condition
-They are great for painful menses and polycystic ovary syndrome
A word of warning: excessive amounts may have adverse effects. Best to have polyphenols in their natural form instead of as supplements. Many studies on polyphenols have been sponsored by food companies.