What are polyphenols?
Quite simply, polyphenols are naturally occurring compounds found in fruits, vegetables, spices and other plants and food sources.
At least one study has shown a decreased mortality rate associated with higher consumption of dietary polyphenol intake.
The best source of polyphenols is from foods that naturally contain them, rather than from supplements, according to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Here is a list of fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices that are naturally high in polyphenols.
Artichoke (Pubmed study showing artichoke polyphenol activity against breast cancer.)
Olive (both black and green) Science Daily writes about ofoleocanthal, a natural polyphenolic anti-inflammatory agent uniquely found in extra virgin olive oil.
Red and Yellow onion Onions provide high bioavailability of the polyphenol hydroxybenzoic acid.
Potato Polyphenol extracts from potatoes have shown success with preventing weight gain.
Red lettuce Has been shown to have the highest polyphenol content of lettuces.
Asparagus The main components responsible for asparagus bioactivity are, carotenoids oligosaccharides and phenols (ﬂavonoids) especially rutin, a compound with antioxidant properties
Endive Pubmed study on bioavailability.
Spinach Anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties, also immune enhancers.
Shallot Even higher in polyphenols than onions.
Spirulina Possible Neuroprotective effects of Polyphenols and Spirulina
Blueberries Polyphenolic compounds in blueberries had robust and reproducible benefits during aging that were separable from antioxidant effects.
Blackcurrant Black currants are a rich source of polyphenol compounds.
Plum Consumption of polyphenol-rich peach and plum juice prevents risk factors for obesity-related metabolic disorders and cardiovascular disease.
Cherry Both sweet and tart cherries are known to contain a matrix of bioactive constituents that are characterized as beneficial against multiple degenerative diseases.
Blackberry Blackberry ingestion has been demonstrated to attenuate brain degenerative processes with the benefits ascribed to the (poly)phenolic components.
Strawberry Strawberry polyphenols have shown effects against the most common chronic diseases, such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases, metabolic syndrome, and inflammation.
Raspberry Raspberries possess several essential micronutrients, dietary fibers, and polyphenolic components, especially ellagitannins and anthocyanins.
Nectarine Thinned nectarine had a high content of total phenols.
Apple Polyphenol molecules derived from apples extend life span in various species by as much as 12 percent.
Grape The polyphenol concentration in Concord grape juice exceeded that of many other juices, including blueberry, açaí, cranberry, orange, and apple juices.
Carrot Polyphenols in these vegetables may play a role in the beneficial effects associated with increased consumption.
Pear The antioxidant activities comprised contributions from polyphenols, phenolic acids, and flavonoids and correlated well with polyphenols and flavonoids.
Peach Consumption of polyphenol-rich peach and plum juice prevents risk factors for obesity-related metabolic disorders and cardiovascular disease
Apricot Apricot is a natural source of polyphenols and other phytochemicals such as β-carotene and ascorbic acid that contribute to its antioxidant activity.
Herbs and Seasonings:
Want to learn more about polyphenols, and good food sources? Check out these sources for more information.
See a list of 100 high polyphenol foods at Nature.com.
When applied topically, the benefits of polyphenols can help to repair damaged skin and restore elasticity to prematurely aging skin.