Top Heart-Healthy Polyphenol-Rich Foods

Health Professional
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Polyphenols have gained more and more attention in the media and science community in the last few years. These compounds are found in fruits, seeds, vegetables, and legumes and are powerful antioxidants helping to fend off cancer, Alzheimer’s, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and osteoporosis. Each day we are exposed to environmental toxins and slight cell mutations that cause normal functioning cells to become electrically charged creating what is known as free radical cells. The build-up of these electrically charged free radicals is thought to be the cause of several diseases.

In order to neutralize these damaged cells, we must consume antioxidants and polyphenols. These naturally occurring plant chemicals provide the rich colored pigment of our produce, nuts, and seeds and protect these plants from environmental damage, diseases and help them recover from injury. Studies have shown the action of polyphenols in plants to be similar in the human body as they act as antioxidants.

Polyphenols is the umbrella name for the large group of antioxidant chemicals that is made up of specific antioxidant types known as phenolic acids, flavonoids, and lignans. Flavonoids are by far the most well-known and well-studied sub-group of the polyphenols. It is important to note that each plant food contains a range of polyphenols. Generally, deep and richly colored foods have more antioxidants.

How much polyphenols?

While there is no official recommendation or adequate intake levels set, it is generally believed that a plant-rich diet is best for overall health, including the high antioxidant amounts it provides.

Too little polyphenols?

Because there is no recommended dietary intake amount set for polyphenols, there is no deficiency level set. It is generally thought that the more antioxidants we consume from our diets, the better for preventing disease and promoting overall health. As studies have shown, higher concentrations of free radical cells is linked to more cell damage in the body. To adequately neutralize these free radical cells, we must consume foods that are rich in polyphenols.

Too much polyphenols?

There is no direct recommendation for how much polyphenols we should consume each day. Because these chemicals are found in fruits and vegetables, it is best to follow other vitamin toxicity levels of concern.

How to include polyphenols every day

Obtaining needed nutrients in your diet is always preferable to supplements. Fruits, vegetables, beans, spices, and nuts are the best sources.

Add these foods to your cart to make sure you are getting polyphenols in your diet each day.

Beverages

  • Coffee
  • Black tea
  • Red wine
  • Green tea
  • Pure pomegranate juice

Herbs and spices

  • Cloves
  • Dried peppermint
  • Star anise
  • Cocoa
  • Oregano
  • Celery seed
  • Dark chocolate
  • Flaxseed meal
  • Curry powder

Nuts and grains

  • Pecans
  • Hazelnuts
  • Whole grain wheat flour

Produce

  • Black olives
  • Green olives
  • Blackcurrants
  • Black chokeberry
  • Plum
  • Red raspberry
  • Spinach
  • Red onion
  • Tomato
  • Carrot

See more helpful articles:

Cranberries and Cholesterol

Tea Does Your Heart Good: Learn Which Kinds and How Much

8 Foods That Lower Cholesterol

How Eating Flavonoids Everyday Will Help You Lower Blood Pressure