What are the health benefits of a diet high in polyphenols and bioactive compounds?
This discussion will explore the world of polyphenols and bioactive compounds. We'll also examine how adding them to our diets could have a positive impact on our health. In my role as a nutritionist and dietician, I will provide you with evidence-based data to better understand these compounds. During the session, we'll look at ways you can increase your intake of these compounds and their potential effects on health.
Bioactive compounds in your diet: What you need to know
Why should we pay attention to polyphenols then? Plant-based polyphenols have potent antioxidative properties. These compounds are essential for maintaining health and preventing chronic disease. A high intake of polyphenols has been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis and neurodegenerative disorders.
In a study published by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, it was found that higher consumption of polyphenols, such as flavonoids (a type of them), is associated with lower mortality rates from heart disease. In addition, research published in the European Journal of Epidemiology indicates that polyphenols could have protective effects on several cancer types. While these results are encouraging, further research is required to understand mechanisms and establish definitive consumption guidelines.
Increase Your polyphenol intake
How can we consume more polyphenols now that we are aware of their benefits? Many commonly eaten foods contain these compounds. These compounds are found in fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts and seeds, as well as beverages such teas and wines.
It's also important to know that polyphenol content can be affected by the source of food, the part of the plant being consumed, the degree of maturity, or the method of preparation. Polyphenols can be affected by cooking methods. Cooking methods can also affect polyphenol content. For instance, boiling vegetables may reduce their content while roasting nuts and seeds increases it.
Foods rich in polyphenols
- The small blueberries are rich in anthocyanins (a polyphenol).
- Green tea is a rich source of catechins - another polyphenol.
- Dark chocolate contains flavanols and epicatechin in particular.
- Red wine is known for having a high level of resveratrol.
- Cloves are rich in phenolic compounds.
- The black olives are high in hydroxytyrosol.
- Soybean: Has isoflavones that have been associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.
- Pecans are high in antioxidants such as ellagic acids and other phenolic compounds.
- Flaxseed is rich in lignans that have shown to lower the risk for certain cancers.
- Artichokes contain chlorogenic acid, an antioxidant that is powerful.
It's important to keep a healthy diet while increasing polyphenol consumption. Do not neglect essential nutrients. Remember that it is best to consume these compounds in whole food rather than as supplements because they synergize with the other nutrients found in foods. Consult a dietitian or healthcare professional before you make any significant changes in your diet.
A diet high in polyphenols, or bioactive compounds such as them, can contribute significantly to good health. You're doing your body a favor by adding a wide variety of foods rich in polyphenols to your diet. Balance is the key. It's more important to make sustainable lifestyle changes than search for a quick fix..