You’re body is constantly under the attack of free radicals. Even when you breath the oxygen eaten up by your cells produces them.
The byproduct of life is something that makes you age. It’s sad but it’s true. So, to stay young and healthy you need to input antioxidants into your body.
But, the phytochemicals called Polyphenols are as important as those antioxidants (1). They exhibit many of the properties of antioxidants and can curb that free radical damage.
Polyphenols and Their Purpose
Polyphenols are a powerful phytochemical found in specific foods. They give foods such as vegetables and fruites their vibrant color. Over 8,000 different types of polyphenols have been identified.
One place you will not find Polyphenols is in a McDonalds hamburger. Nor will you find it in that Peanut Butter Cookie or Ice Cream Sandwich. Those foods age you and cause weight gain. If you want to look like the Wicked Witch of the West while 90 pounds overweight eat fast food every day. It will work, I promise.
Polyphenols on the other hand act like a free radical scavenger (1). They scavenge throughout your body reducing the damage to your cells.
Diseases Combated with Polyphenols
- Type II Diabetes
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Cardiovascular Disease
Foods Rich in Polyphenols
Certain foods are more abundant than others in Polyphenols. Almost all raw food contains Polyphenols. Yet, some take the cake (no cake doesn’t have any polyphenols).
The power of this phytochemical will amaze you if you include it in your diet. It’s ability to lower inflammation and heal your body is remarkable.
Here’s a list of foods you need to start eating now:
- Coffee. Coffee is one of the most powerful foods on the planet. Caffeine is not its only nutrient. There are thousands of chemical compounds in coffee. It is also extremely rich in minerals. However, it’s power lies in its Polyphenol content (2). Specifically in flavonoids. Flavonoids are the most studied Polyphenol. You may have heard of red wine being healthy? That’s because of its flavonoid content.
- Green Tea. Green tea is also loaded with Flavonoids and other Polyphenols. If you can drink Green Tea daily it can change your entire biochemistry (3). The power of Green Tea comes in its antioxidant and Polyphenol content. There are also Green Tea Extracts that can be taken instead of drinking the tea, if you don’t like the taste.
- Vegetables. Again, polyphenols give food their rich colors. So, vegetables are loaded with Polyphenols (4). Much different than the Flavonoids found in coffee but still great. The richest source of Polyphenols in vegetables include Artichokes, Chicory, Spinach and Red Onion.
- Seasoning. Putting extra basil or oregano in your food will do more than make it taste good (5). Seasonings are loaded with antioxidants and Polyphenols. Foods like Peppermint, thyme, basil, curry, and anise are stacked with Polyphenols that your body needs.
- Chocolate. With this one, the darker the chocolate the better. Actually, your best bet is to get raw Cacao and add it to a smoothie (6). That will hammer your antioxidant counts and Polyphenol counts through the roof (7). Chocolate is one of the most chemically complex foods on the planet. It is loaded with incredible chemicals like Anandamide (the bliss chemical) that will change your entire physiology. So, eat on!
- Grape Seeds Extract: 100 mg per day
- Pine Tree Bark: 25-100 mg per day
- Resveratrol: 100 mg
- Green Tea Extract
Polyphenols and Gut Flora
The impact of Polyphenols on the gut flora is well researched. The information out there is incredible.
In 2013 a ground breaking study shifted the way we undestand Polyphenols impact on the gut flora. It leveled the playing field as to how important this phytochemical is.
There are certain bacteria in your gut that will cause you to gain weight. There have been studies that show a direct impact of an overgrowth of Firmicutes (a bacteria in your gut) to cause weight gain (8).
Polyphenols combat combat Firmicutes. On the other hand you want more bacteroidetes. Bacteroidetes causes you to digest less carbohydrates. If a person can digest less of the carbs that they eat they will remain thin or lose weight.
Polyphenols have a direct impact on lowering Firmicutes and proliferating Bacteroidetes (8).
If you want to lose weight, ingesting Polyphenols in copious amounts is your best bet. So, get on it and start shoveling as many vegetables in your face as you possibly can.
Let me know in the comments below of one food you’ll be incorporating in your diet because of this article!