What does a leafy green salad topped with bright red strawberries and raw walnuts have in common with a glass of red wine?
How can dark chocolate help you fight damage that occurs within your body on a normal basis?
Why would your daily cup of joe be considered a disease fighter?
The answer to each of these questions is: polyphenols.
Leafy greens, strawberries, walnuts, red wine, dark chocolate, and coffee (sans the sugary additions), are all filled with polyphenols that benefit you in multiple ways!
So, what are polyphenols, what other foods and/or drinks are they found in, and how can they benefit your body?
What Are Polyphenols?
Polyphenols are plant compounds. They are nutrients that your body needs in slightly less amounts than basic macronutrients like proteins, carbs, and fats.
But, what makes polyphenols special? And, why do we need them?
These micronutrients are a great source of antioxidants, which prevent and counteract damage that occurs within your body from free radicals.
So, let’s break that down a bit.
Free radicals are molecules in your body that are not stable and can cause harm to your cells.
They are made when molecules gain or lose electrons as a result of normal metabolic processes that occur on a daily basis.
When these free radicals cannot be destroyed, they accumulate and cause damage, known as oxidative stress, within your body.
Such damage is a major contributing factor in autoimmune diseases, cancers, rheumatoid arthritis, and cardiovascular diseases.
Polyphenols inhibit certain actions carried out by enzymes that contribute to oxidative stress, thus lessening the damage caused by free radicals.
Sources Of Polyphenols
The main source for polyphenols? Your diet.
Eating a diet filled with a variety of spices, herbs, fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains can ensure you are fueling your body with antioxidant rich polyphenols.
There are thousands of kinds of polyphenols, but generally they are categorized in only 4 groups.
Flavonoids are a class of polyphenols that are primarily found in fruits and vegetables.
With carotenoids, together they give fruits and vegetables their bright colors.
Have you ever heard of the advice to “eat the rainbow”? This is why. If you are eating fruits and vegetables with a variety of color, you are ensuring polyphenol consumption.
This group of polyphenols are mainly found in the skin of fruits and the leaves of vegetables.
Phenolic acids can easily be absorbed through the walls of your gut where they can combat free radical damage.
Stilbenes are not nearly as common as flavonoids and phenolic acids.
One of two stilbenes is resveratrol, and this is probably the one that you are most familiar with due to its presence in red wine and dark chocolate.
Who doesn’t love a little wine and chocolate, right?
So, when you hear of the antioxidant properties of red wine and dark chocolate, those health benefits are due to polyphenols (more specifically, resveratrol, of the stilbene group of polyphenols).
Another group of these micronutrients is known as lignans. These are also primarily found in plants, but they extend further than flavonoids and phenolic acids in that they are also found in numerous seeds, nuts, legumes, and whole grains.
Here’s a list of some of the main foods (by category) that are rich in polyphenols:
Vegetables– spinach, chicory, endive, broccoli, artichokes, and red onion
Fruits– berries (blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and elderberries), grapes, cherries, plums, apples, and pomegranates
Beans– black and white beans
Nuts and seeds– walnuts, almonds, pecans, hazelnuts, chestnuts, and flaxseeds
Herbs and spices– cloves, star anise, sage, rosemary, dried peppermint, dried spearmint, cumin, thyme, and caraway
Chocolates– dark chocolate and cocoa powder (this one’s our favorite!)
Beverages– red wine, green tea, coffee, and black tea
Grains– oats, whole wheat, and rye
Benefits Of Polyphenols
So, we know that polyphenols combat against damage caused by free radicals in your body. And, we know the primary sources of this micronutrient, but how does that translate to benefits for you?
- We mentioned earlier of how polyphenols are a rich source of antioxidants and of their power to combat damage caused by free radicals. This is truly their primary benefit.
Being filled with antioxidants, studies show polyphenols can protect against chronic diseases linked to oxidative stress. They have also been known to protect against some cancers and diabetes.
- Polyphenols also protect against heart disease. One study found that in those individuals who increased their consumption of flavonoids, their risk of death from heart disease was lowered by 18%.
The antioxidant properties in polyphenols also contribute to reduced chronic inflammation which is a known contributing factor to heart disease as well.
- Polyphenols may lower your risk of developing blood clots as studies have shown that they can reduce an overabundance of platelet aggregation (a cause of blood clotting).
Resveratrol is one of the most common polyphenols that has been studied, verifying these findings.
- Some studies have found that polyphenols can inhibit the growth of cancer cells.
Cancer is another disease with its roots in chronic inflammation, which polyphenols have been routinely proven to reduce. And, a reduction in chronic inflammation is always a win for your health!
- Polyphenols also help to maintain a normal blood sugar level.
One British study showed that those who increased their consumption of polyphenols, decreased their risk of type 2 diabetes.
Polyphenols have been known to decrease blood sugar spiking because they are able to prevent the breakdown of starches into simple sugars.
You can gain free radical damage protection and disease fighting “power” by incorporating foods rich in polyphenols into your diet… like my favorite super-chocolate!
I don’t know about you, but I don’t need an excuse to eat chocolate.
Chocolate cake…Chocolate ice cream…Chocolate milk shakes…
I love it all!
It’s why I was so excited when I found out about the power of a unique type of Peruvian chocolate. You see, most chocolate is grown over on the west coast of Africa.
But small batches of chocolate also come from the jungles of Peru.
And the difference is incredible.
Peruvian cacao is not only sweet like regular milk chocolate…
It’s also one of the healthiest and highest antioxidant foods on the planet.
Being 12x healthier than blueberries…
16x healthier than kale…
And 37x healthier than even broccoli.
This delicious chocolatey gift has been the food of emperors for nearly 2,000 years.
And the growing process was finally perfected during the late Incan empire.
Which is what gives us this unique Peruvian chocolate that not only tastes delicious, but can also…
* Promote healthy blood sugar
* Reduce free-radicals & fight inflammation, thereby slowing down aging in the body
* Make you fall asleep faster and STAY asleep through the night
* Even help preventing brain aging
It’s no wonder people have been saying things like…
“It has been a wonderful discovery and my body and mind have never been better. My aches and pains are minimal, my gut health has been amazing – gas and cramping is gone!” – Angela Kiesow
“This chocolate is so incredibly delicious, it really feels great to be eating something so healthy and satisfying. I’m losing weight, I feel great, and I have NO food cravings at all during the day!” – Dolores Adkins
“It actually makes me smile every time I eat some, it’s that good! It also gives me energy without the jittery side effects of too much caffeine. I used to get a Starbucks Mocha almost every day, and this healthier drink has taken its place.” – Jennifer Wilson
There is only ONE season a year that they grow this unique South American chocolate…
So make sure you get some BEFORE the end of this year’s growing season.
Find out the details on this page below:
>> This unique Peruvian chocolate is healthier than kale (tastes incredible AND packs more inflammation-fighting antioxidants than any vegetables)