There’s nothing better than going to the local market or grocery store and seeing all the vibrant colours of the fruit and vegetables as you fill your trolley with fresh goodness. But besides their attractive colours, they are also jam-packed with micronutrients called polyphenols.
What are polyphenols?
Polyphenols are antioxidant compounds that are derived from a wide range of natural plant foods. Polyphenols can enhance the flavour of your food, protect against pathogens; AND they help you to lead a healthier and happier lifestyle by preventing the damage of free radicals in the body. Free radicals are often attributed to chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and dementia.
What polyphenols should I eat?
There are actually more than 8,000 different types of polyphenols that we could list, but if you want a diet rich in polyphenol foods, we recommend the following FIVE delicious options:
- Green Tea or Coffee
Both green tea and coffee are loaded with antioxidants which can help to reduce inflammation and repair cellular damage. When it comes to coffee, enjoy it without sugar to enjoy the full polyphenol benefits.
- Oranges or Orange peels
Although most citrus fruits are overall great sources of polyphenols, the zest of an orange packs a serious punch! Try adding some zest to your cooking or sprinkle some on your yoghurt.
For maximum polyphenol benefits, switch to enjoying soy in its most original form – soybeans. This is because when soybeans are processed into soymilk, many of the polyphenols are stripped out.
- Red Wine
We’re certainly not telling you to down a few bottles of red wine this weekend, but the odd glass with dinner is actually great for your health! The tannins within wine contain flavonoid polyphenols and if the wine is young, it can help prevent cardiovascular disease and cancers.
- Dark Chocolate
There has never been a better excuse to eat chocolate! Cacao beans are filled with polyphenols, antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, and resveratrol (which is good for neuroprotection). The higher the cacao content, and lower the sugar content, the better the chocolate will be for you. It can help combat a range of ailments, from your heart and brain to diabetes and inflammation.