Not familiar with polyphenols? Chances are you’ve drunk or eaten some today, which is great news because they have some fantastic health benefits.
Polyphenols are food bioactives that are abundant in our diet; found in raspberries, strawbemes, peppermint, dark chocolate, apples, red wine, and blueberries to name just a few!
These phenolic compounds have been getting a bt of attention from the scientif- ic community in recent years due to their positıve effects on cardbvascular dısease and endothelial functbn, as well as their potential role in the preventbn of obesity and dıabetes.
Ever wondered how berries get their amazıng colours? Yes, you guessed it, it’s down to polyphenols. A subset of which known as anthocyanins are partıcularly abundant in brightly coloured fruits.
Not only are they responsible for those amazing natural colours they are also strong antioxidants. Studies have repeatedly shovvn an inverse association betvveen the risk of chronic human diseases and those who consume a polyphenolic rich diet, due to the well-established theory that they increase antbxidant capacıty.
With that in mind, consumption of poly- phenols has been associated with reduced oxidative stress and damage in the body, therefore limiting the risk of varıous degenerative diseases.
İt doesn’t stop there, the potential health benefits of polyphenols also include being protective against coronary heart disease.
Oxidation is a key mechanısm of arterial plague development and polyphenols ınhibıt this. so they may be small but can have a mıghty effect!
One of the most accepted theories of aging is the mechanism of oxidative stress and damage. Sound familiar? This is yet another example of the power of polyphenols, vvhich are thought to reduce the effects of ageing through their antıoxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. These properties are particularly seen in spinach, strawberries, and blueberries.
The good news is you can get t he vvonderful effects of polyphenols from just 250g of blueberries. As you may have read, the messages regardıng fruit in the media have been somevvhat negative recently, predominantly due to their sugar content.
Unfortunateiy, processed fruit juıce drinks do tend to have a tot of added sugar, which has been linked to obesity and dıabetes.
However, it is by no means the same story with whoie fruit or sımple fruit smoothies that keep ali that tovely fıbre.
İn fact, who!e fruits have actually been shown to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, and it’s thought that polyphenols may play a crucial role in mediating the effects of the naturally occurring sugar.
The Science behind polyphenols is overwhelmingly positıve; from sıgnificantly reducing mortality due to cardiovascular disease, to their potential in the prevention and treatment of influenza.
The exact mechanisms may not yet be known, but the epidemioiogy linking these wonderful, natural, compounds with healthier people is incredibly convincing. With most of the UK currently not meeting theır recommended 5 a day of fruit and veg, I implore you to make a healthy choıce and add some polyphenol rich bemes to your next basket.