8 Health Benefits of Polyphenols: Empowering Your Wellness Journey

Discover how these natural compounds can enhance your health

Daniesha Govender
By Daniesha Govender
Dorian Rhode
Edited by Dorian Rhode

Updated December 16, 2023.

a woman sitting on a chair holding a cup of coffee

In the abundance of dietary choices you can make today, one group of natural compounds stands out for its profound impact on human health—polyphenols. These remarkable phytochemicals, found in many plant-based foods, are more than just components of your favorite fruits, vegetables, and beverages.

They play a crucial role in your overall well-being, affecting essential physiological processes that can impact your health in many ways. Let's delve into these natural compounds' impact on human health and how you can incorporate them into your daily diet.

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What are polyphenols?

Polyphenols are natural compounds like flavonoids, phenolic acids, lignans, and stilbenes. You regularly ingest them through fruits, vegetables, tea, or red wine. They can cause significant health benefits by influencing physiological processes like metabolism, inflammation, and cardiovascular health. [1, 2, 3]

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Health benefits of polyphenols

1. Chronic disease protection

Polyphenols are potent antioxidants that can help you reduce oxidative stress by lowering free radicals in the body. [4] They can lower the risk of chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease and cancer. [5]

3. Blood sugar regulation

Some polyphenols, such as resveratrol and quercetin, can improve blood sugar control. [6] They work by increasing insulin sensitivity, reducing glucose absorption from the gut, and stimulating insulin production from the pancreas.

» Learn more about the importance of insulin in your body's metabolism and healthspan

4. Improved cognitive function:

Polyphenols may also help to improve cognitive function and delay age-related cognitive decline. You get those benefits because of increased blood flow to the brain and reduced oxidative stress. Polyphenols may also promote the growth of new neurons. [7]

5. Healthier skin

Polyphenols are effective in reducing wrinkles, fine lines, and age spots. They do so by scavenging free radicals, inhibiting the production of collagen-degrading enzymes, and increasing the production of hyaluronic acid. [8]

6. Slower aging

Polyphenols slow aging by reducing oxidative stress and inflammation, and improving cellular signaling pathways. They may also improve mitochondrial function to maintain telomere length, essential for cellular longevity. [9]

7. Improved gut health

Polyphenols impact gut health by balancing gut microbiota, easing digestive problems, and improving overall digestive health. [10]

They can also reduce gut inflammation and improve conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) by positively affecting gut microbiota composition. [11].

8. Weight loss

Polyphenols can help you lose weight by suppressing appetite and promoting feelings of fullness. [12] Certain types—like epigallocatechin gallate in green tea—may even help you shed pounds by boosting your metabolism, though the effect is moderate. [13]

» Find out if mindfulness can help with weight loss

Including polyphenols in your diet

To maximize the health benefits, incorporate a variety of colorful fruits, vegetables, and teas into your daily diet. Aim for at least five servings of these polyphenols-rich foods daily to ensure a diverse intake of polyphenols. [14]

Did you know?

Polyphenols in coffee—such as chlorogenic acid—can also have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-diabetic effects. [15, 16, 17]

Power of polyphenols: your path to well-being

Incorporating polyphenols into your daily diet isn't just a health trend—it's a powerful way to boost your overall well-being. By embracing a colorful array of fruits, vegetables, and teas, you can quickly introduce these natural compounds into your routine and unlock their benefits.

Small dietary changes today can lead to significant health improvements tomorrow. Evaluate your health, view personalized recommendations to improve, and track your progress with InsideTracker, a personalized biomarker analysis and guide for your wellness journey.

InsideTracker doesn't offer medical diagnoses or treatment. For any health-related concerns, consult a qualified healthcare professional.



References:

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3257683/

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5055983/

[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3820045/

[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5618098/

[5] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15640483/

[6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7602234/

[7] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3372091/

[8] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9695112/

[9] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8064059/

[10] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23849454/

[11] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27841104/

[12] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24314860/

[13] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19597519/

[14] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15113710/

[15] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7275206/

[16] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7327949/

[17] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4728630/