Polyphenols can help improve or even treat diabetes, heart problems, digestion problems, weight management problems and neurodegenerative disease. Certain plant-based foods contain these micronutrients. More so, to get the health benefits of these micronutrients, then you should eat foods that contain them, but you can also take supplements that you can get in capsule and powder forms.
There are some side effects associated with polyphenols. However, you will experience the side effects more commonly if you take the micronutrient polyphenols by taking supplements. It is therefore best to eat food in their natural form. Still, the most noted side effects people have experienced is the interference of absorbing iron.
In addition, there are certain activities such as metabolism, bioavailability and intestinal absorption that can influence of polyphenols in the body. That said, there are some foods that have higher levels of polyphenol as compared to others.
Still, here are some of the best foods that contain polyphenol
Cloves contain the most polyphenol. In fact, cloves have 15,188 mg polyphenols per 100 g of cloves.
Dark chocolate and cocoa powder
Packed with polyphenol, with 3,448 mg polyphenols per 100 g of cocoa powder. As dark chocolate contains cocoa powder, it means that chocolate can be a healthy treat with 1664 mg of polyphenols. Although milk chocolate has much less polyphenols than dark chocolate.
There are numerous sort of berries that are rich in polyphenols. These include easily available and popular berries such as:
- Highbush blueberries, with 560 mg polyphenols
- Blackberries, with 260 mg polyphenols
- Strawberries, with 235 mg polyphenols
- Red raspberries, with 215 mg polyphenols
- Black chokeberry, which has more than 1,700 mg polyphenols per 100 g.
There are other fruit, besides berries, that also have polyphenols. These fruits include:
- Black currants, with 758 mg polyphenols
- Plums, with 377 mg polyphenols
- Sweet cherries, with 274 mg polyphenols
- Apples, with 136 mg polyphenols
Beans have a large quantity of nutritional benefits, so it is no surprise that they naturally have hefty doses of polyphenols. Black beans and white beans in general have the maximum number of polyphenols. Black beans have 59 mg per 100 g, and white beans have 51 mg.
Nuts is a healthy snack but can be high in caloric value. That said, if eaten in moderation that can provide a powerful nutritional punch. Not only are they full of protein; some nuts also have high polyphenol content.
Nuts high in polyphenols include:
- Hazelnuts, with 495 mg polyphenols
- Walnuts, with 28 mg polyphenols
- Almonds, with 187 mg polyphenols
- Pecans, with 493 mg polyphenols
Numerous vegetables contain polyphenols, though they usually have less than fruit. Vegetables with high numbers of polyphenols include:
- Artichokes, with 260 mg polyphenols
- Chicory, with 166–235 mg polyphenols
- Red onions, with 168 mg polyphenols
- Spinach, with 119 mg polyphenols
Soy, in all its different forms and stages, contains enormous numbers of this valuable micronutrient. These forms include:
- Ssoy tempeh, with 148 mg polyphenols
- Soy flour, with 466 mg polyphenols
- Tofu, with 42 mg polyphenols
- Soy yogurt, with 84 mg polyphenols
- Soybean sprouts, with 15 mg polyphenols
Black and green tea
Besides solid foods, teas are also a great source of polyphenols. With black tea clocks in with 102 mg polyphenols per 100 milliliters (mL), and green tea has 89 mg.
Red wine has a high number of polyphenols that contributes to that antioxidant count. Red wine has a total of 101 mg polyphenols per 100 mL. Rosé and white wine, while not as good as red wine, still have a decent chunk of polyphenols, with 100 mL of each having about 10 mg polyphenols.
Potential risks and complications of polyphenols
Besides all the benefits, there are a few risks and complications associated with polyphenols. These seem to be most heavily associated with taking polyphenol supplements. More research is needed to evaluate the actual risk of these complications, which include carcinogenic effects, genotoxicity, thyroid issues, estrogenic activity in isoflavones, and interactions with other prescription medications.
The bottom line
Polyphenols are potent micronutrients that our body requires. This micronutrient has different health benefits that may offer protection from the development of cancers, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and diabetes. It is best to consume polyphenols through foods naturally containing them, instead of through artificially made supplements, as the supplements seems to have some side effects associated against them. Still, if you wanting to take the supplements route then do make sure that you are using supplements made by a reputable company, which uses high quality ingredients, and processing techniques.