The many plant-derived compounds known as polyphenols are directly responsible for fulfilling certain health benefits. Here is a look at polyphenols, and what some popular polyphenol supplements can do for you.
Polyphenols: What Are They?
Polyphenols are compounds that naturally occur in plants and are contained in many plant foods and plant-based foods. Foods that contain polyphenols include fruits, vegetables, wine, and dark chocolate.
There are more than 8,000 distinct polyphenols that scientists have identified. Major types of polyphenol compounds include what are known as flavonoids as well as phenolic acid(s). Resveratrol and curcumin are two notable polyphenol compounds. The various polyphenols and polyphenol types are shown to work in a variety of ways within the body. Some have benefits that others do not.
Eating foods containing polyphenols are the ideal way to get your proper fill of them. This is because polyphenols work best in the body when consumed alongside other nutrients found in food. However, some plant foods are commonly harvested and produced as an oral supplement for their polyphenol content; these are touted for their own specific benefits.
Supplemental Polyphenols & Their Benefits
The following products are commonly singled out for their polyphenol content. These plant-derived supplements contain some combinations of polyphenols, with each of them having their own uniquely potential benefits. It should be noted that some polyphenol supplements have such high polyphenol content that they could produce side effects. It is recommended that you talk to your healthcare provider before adding polyphenol supplements to your daily regimen. This is not about being fearful, just careful.
Green tea extract contains a certain type of polyphenols known as catechins. A green tea extract supplement is associated with a lower risk of coronary artery disease. Its antioxidant content can also be of general benefit to the skin. This extract is also known for its caffeine content, which can give you an energy boost.
Blueberry extract contains anthocyanins. These polyphenols are likely responsible for the positive effect blueberry extract has been shown in regulating glucose in persons with type II diabetes. It has also been shown that anthocyanins can have a positive effect on heart & circulatory function by strengthening the function of endothelial arteries (small arteries).
Bilberry extract contains phenolic acid, as well as anthocyanins. Bilberry extract can help reduce inflammation and the chances of inflammatory disease such as diabetes and heart disease. Phenolic acid in bilberry extract is thought to help prevent Alzheimer’s disease. Tannins, pectins, and other antioxidants in bilberry can also have a positive effect on digestive health.
Grape Seed extract contains tannins, which are polyphenols that provide an antioxidant effect. These polyphenols can help strengthen blood vessels and potentially improve circulation. Proanthocyanidins in grape seed extract can also reduce swelling, such as that which occurs in the legs of some people during the course of a day. The polyphenols contained herein can potentially help high blood pressure, as well.
Polyphenols are plant-based compounds that can support a litany of necessary roles in the body. Consider the above polyphenol supplements as a means to get as much of these healthy compounds as you can, alongside an otherwise healthy diet. Talk to your doctor about using polyphenols and how they might interact with your diet at large.