What are Polyphenols?

What Are Polyphenols?

Polyphenols are naturally occurring compounds found in plants, including fruits, vegetables, tea, coffee, wine, and dark chocolate. These bioactive substances are known for their antioxidant properties that provide protection to plants. When consumed they also help to neutralize harmful free radicals in the human body. 

Consuming polyphenols may benefit health by reducing inflammation, improving heart health, enhancing brain function, and supporting gut health. Additionally, they have been linked to a lower risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers. 

Polyphenols are actually a core component of the Mediterranean diet, contributing to many of its well documented benefits. This diet emphasizes the consumption of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and olive oil. Integrating polyphenol-rich foods into your diet can contribute to overall well-being and disease prevention.

Polyphenols and Health

Numerous studies have investigated the health effects of polyphenol consumption in recent years. Evidence suggests improved lung health and function is common, with specific improvements to forced vital capacity and forced expiratory volume. Research also confirms that polyphenol intake has a positive effect on the gut microbiome, where it serves as a prebiotic and also provides antioxidant protection to beneficial bacteria such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium strains, allowing them to flourish. 

Metabolic syndrome is a condition that includes a number of risk factors specific for cardiovascular disease, including abdominal obesity, high blood pressure, impaired fasting blood glucose, elevated triglycerides and low HDL (good) cholesterol. Metabolic syndrome significantly increases the risk of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes. Research has confirmed that higher dietary intakes of polyphenols is associated with a 22% reduced risk of developing metabolic syndrome

Higher intake of polyphenols are also associated with reduced inflammation, oxidative stress and lower blood pressure by 4 mmHg. There is also evidence that polyphenols can improve insulin sensitivity by 20%, which significantly reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes. 

Polyphenols can have profound effects on heart health too. With research confirming that polyphenol supplementation can reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol by 10% with an improvement in endothelial function of 15%. 

The brain can certainly benefit from an increase in polyphenol intake too, with evidence of a 15% improvement in cognitive test scores after polyphenol supplementation and improvement in memory too. 

Dietary Sources of Polyphenols

Polyphenols are found naturally in abundance in foods such as berries, particularly blueberries and blackberries, dark chocolate, tea, coffee, red wine, nuts, olive oils, herbs and spices. Incorporating as many of these foods into your diet as possible is likely to significantly improve your health. 

The optimal dosage for dietary polyphenols is based upon specific health conditions, although generally aiming for a wide variety of polyphenol-rich foods with all meals, as part of a well balanced diet will certainly benefit. 

B.fresh have honed this scientific research to formulate a variety of polyphenol-packed juices, smoothies and shots. Although our leader in this space is most certainly the new Recover juice, which is loaded with 1300 mg of polyphenols from various sources such as pomegranate, cherry, blueberry and cacao. 

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Not only does this juice accelerate the healing and recovery of muscle after exercise, but it can protect and enhance your health when consumed more frequently too. 

Written by Nutritionist Matt Jones

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