Top ten foods rich in polyphenols

Top ten foods rich in polyphenols

The well-known WHO recommended “five servings” of fruits and vegetables a day is gaining more and more followers in the field of healthy eating.  So why is it important to eat at least five servings of colorful fruits and vegetables each day?  What are the benefits of fruits and vegetables? For example, back in January 2015 the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics published an article about a study that found that daily consumption of blueberries lowered blood pressure and increased elasticity of arterial walls, improving arterial function1.

The secret of blueberries and other whole natural products is that they are rich in polyphenols.

Polyphenols are active substances of plant origin that have at least one phenolic group in their structure. Polyphenols are mainly represented by flavonoids and phenolic acids. Red fruits and berries, black radishes, coffee, onions, grains and spices are sources of phenolic acids. Flavonoids include soy isoflavones, anthocyanidins from berries and wine, flavones from herbaceous plants, flavonols from broccoli, tomatoes and tea, and flavanones from citrus fruits and their juices, flavan-3-ol (or catechin) from cocoa, tea and wine.

How polyphenols affect the cardiovascular system:

  • Help lower cholesterol levels
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Improve arterial function
  • Prevent platelet aggregation
  • Improve elasticity of arterial walls
  • Prolong life span

There are hundreds of studies confirming the beneficial effects of consuming foods rich in polyphenols2. A large European study has been published in the world medical literature: high intake of polyphenols, especially the stilbenes of grapes and nuts, and the lignans of flax seeds were associated with increased longevity3.

Another large study of more than 500 people showed that those who ate raw vegetables and reduced the proportion of fatty dairy products in their diet had healthier arteries4. Consumption of fresh fruit, wine, and elimination of fatty dairy products were associated with less inflammation in the same people.

The European Journal of Clinical Nutrition published is a list of 100 foods rich in polyphenols5.

The highest amounts of polyphenols are found in these 10 foods:

  1. Cloves
  2. Anise
  3. Cocoa powder
  4. Mexican oregano, dry
  5. Celery seeds
  6. Blackthorn rowan
  7. Dark chocolate
  8. Flax seeds
  9. Black elderberry
  10. Chestnut

Also very rich in polyphenols are sage, rosemary, mint, thyme, capers, basil, curry, strawberries and coffee.

Consumption of fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts and spices, due to their high content of polyphenols, effectively supports and improves the cardiovascular system. Such food is a scientifically proven excellent means of preventing heart and vascular disease.

References:

  1. Johnson SA, Figueroa A, Navaei N et al. Daily Blueberry Consumption Improves Blood Pressure and Arterial Stiffness in Postmenopausal Women with Pre- and Stage 1-Hypertension: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial.//J Acad Nutr Diet. 2015 Jan 2. pii: S2212-2672(14).
  2. Habauzit V, Morand C. Evidence for a protective effect of polyphenols-containing foods on cardiovascular health: an update for clinicians. // Ther Adv Chronic Dis. 2012 Mar;3(2):87-106.
  3. Tresserra-Rimbau A, Rimm EB, Medina-Remón A et al. Polyphenol intake and mortality risk: a re-analysis of the PREDIMED trial. // BMC Med. 2014 May 13;12:77.
  4. Bas CT van Bussel, Ronald MA Henry, Isabel Ferreira . A Healthy Diet Is Associated with Less Endothelial Dysfunction and Less Low-Grade Inflammation over a 7-Year Period in Adults at Risk of Cardiovascular Disease // J. Nutr. March 1, 2015jn.114.201236
  5. Pérez-Jiménez J, Neveu V, Vos F, Scalbert A. Identification of the 100 richest dietary sources of polyphenols: an application of the Phenol-Explorer database.// Eur J Clin Nutr. 2010 Nov;64 Suppl 3:S112-20.

Top ten foods rich in polyphenols

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