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7 Foods with Polyphenols – Why You Should Care

It’s the heavenly trio of perfect indulgence: red wine, dark chocolate, and matcha. You’ve heard that you can eat them guilt-free, with happy headlines announcing that they can fight cancer, diabetes, and a slew of other health issues. But what’s the real story behind those headlines? Tropika Club finds out more about why you should care about polyphenols and the 7 foods that are rich with it. 

No Time to Read? Here’s a Snappy Summary of This Article

  • What are Polyphenols? Polyphenols are a type of plant compound found in various foods and beverages that offer numerous health benefits due to their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Powerful Antioxidants: Polyphenols act as powerful antioxidants in the body, helping to neutralize harmful free radicals and protect cells from oxidative stress and damage.
  • Heart Health: Research suggests that polyphenols may have a positive impact on heart health by reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases, such as heart attacks and strokes.
  • Anti-Inflammatory Effects: Polyphenols have anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce chronic inflammation in the body, which is associated with various health conditions, including arthritis, obesity, and certain cancers.
  • Brain Health: Studies have shown that polyphenols may support brain health and cognitive function by protecting against age-related cognitive decline and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
  • Weight Management: Some polyphenols, such as catechins in green tea, may help with weight management by increasing metabolism, reducing fat absorption, and promoting fat oxidation.
  • Sources of Polyphenols: Foods rich in polyphenols include berries, dark chocolate, green tea, red wine, olive oil, nuts, and certain spices like cinnamon and turmeric.

Polyphenols: What you need to know

You can find polyphenols in some plant-based foods. As micronutrients, they are loaded with antioxidants. Like brown rice, they can help absorb free radicals and reduces stress on the body. That’s how they lay their claim on a whole bunch of health benefits:

  • Protect against heart diseases 
  • Protect against neurodegenerative diseases 
  • Fight inflammations that can cause rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease 
  • Help treat indigestion 
  • Provide support in weight management issues 
  • Prevent cancer and Type 2 Diabetes 

Finally, delicious foods that’s good for you 

1. Coffee

You can still keep your morning coffee ritual. Coffee is abundant with one form of polyphenols: chlorogenic acids. This form of polyphenols could help prevent Parkinson’s disease and Type 2 Diabetes. Maybe coffee addiction isn’t a problem after all.

flat lay photography of eight coffee latte in mugs on round table
green powder in white bowl

2. Green Tea

Tea lovers, rejoice! Green tea (and by extension, matcha), are rich with polyphenols as well. The polyphenols come in a specific form – flavonoids – and they make up around one-third of the dry weight of green tea. Some research has shown that flavonoids could help lower blood pressure, as well as the risk of cancer.

3. Blueberries

Actually, most berries do contain a good dose of polyphenols. But blueberries have more than twice as much. The polyphenols in blueberries have been discovered to reduce inflammations in our bodies

selective focus photography of blueberry
person pouring wine on clear wine glass

4. Red Wine

Time to pour yourself a glass. The high number of polyphenols in red wine contributes to its high antioxidant count. Resveratrol, the polyphenols in red wine could help protect blood vessels by increasing the level “good” cholesterols in your body – the high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterols. If you don’t drink, simply drinking grape juice and eating grapes works the same too! 

5. Dark Chocolate

Just like green tea, dark chocolates are rich in flavonoids as well. Since dark chocolate comes from cocoa powder, you might wonder if normal milk chocolate has flavonoids as well. They do, but not as concentrated since milk chocolate has less cocoa powder to make way for other ingredients. 

chocolate bar and powder in bowl
brown nuts

6. Nuts

Nuts have always been known as a powerhouse food because of its high nutritional value. Whether roasted or not, nuts are abundant with polyphenols as well. Out of the variety of nuts, pecans and hazelnuts have the highest number of polyphenols. So maybe you won’t have to feel so guilty when you order hazelnut milk tea or pecan pie on Grab anymore. 

7. Extra Virgin Olive Oil 

We say extra virgin olive oil because it’s the least processed variety of olive oil, so it has the highest quantity of polyphenols in olive oils. So drizzle to your heart’s content when you’re making your salad or Aglio olio! 

clear glass cruet bottle


First things first, polyphenols are natural plant compounds that act as powerful antioxidants. They help protect our cells from damage caused by harmful free radicals. And you know what that means? It means healthier cells and a healthier you! But it doesn’t stop there. Polyphenols have some incredible health benefits. They’ve been linked to better heart health, reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases like heart attacks and strokes. So, taking care of your heart just got a little tastier!

Here’s another reason to care about polyphenols: they have anti-inflammatory effects. Inflammation is a sneaky culprit behind many health issues. But with polyphenols on your side, you can help fight off chronic inflammation and potentially reduce the risk of conditions like arthritis, obesity, and even certain types of cancer. Now, let’s talk about our brains. Polyphenols have shown promising effects on brain health and cognitive function. They may help protect against age-related cognitive decline and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. So, by including polyphenol-rich foods in your diet, you’re giving your brain an extra boost.

Now, you’re probably wondering where you can find these fantastic polyphenols. Well, my friend, they can be found in a variety of delicious foods. Think berries bursting with flavor, dark chocolate for your sweet tooth, refreshing green tea, a glass of red wine for a treat, extra virgin olive oil to drizzle on salads, nuts for a satisfying crunch, and spices like cinnamon and turmeric to spice up your dishes. These are just a few examples of polyphenol-rich foods that you can enjoy while taking care of your health.

In conclusion, polyphenols are these incredible compounds found in certain foods that can have a positive impact on our health. They offer antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits, supporting heart health, brain health, weight management, and overall well-being. By incorporating polyphenol-rich foods into our diet, we can take a proactive approach to our health while savoring delicious flavors. So, why not start embracing these amazing foods and reap the benefits that polyphenols have to offer? Your body will thank you, and you’ll be on your way to a healthier, happier you!


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What are polyphenols and why are they important for our health?

A: Polyphenols are natural compounds found in certain foods that act as antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties. They are important for our health because they help protect our cells from damage, reduce inflammation, and have been associated with various health benefits.

Q: How do polyphenols benefit heart health?

A: Polyphenols have been linked to improved heart health by reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks and strokes. Their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties help protect blood vessels, reduce cholesterol levels, and support overall heart function.

Q: Can polyphenols help with weight management?

A: Yes, certain polyphenols can aid in weight management. They can increase metabolism, promote fat oxidation, and reduce fat absorption. Including polyphenol-rich foods in a balanced diet can be beneficial for those looking to manage their weight.

Q: Which foods are rich in polyphenols?

A: Foods rich in polyphenols include berries, such as blueberries and strawberries, dark chocolate, green tea, red wine, olive oil, nuts, and spices like cinnamon and turmeric.

Q: Are there any specific polyphenols that are particularly beneficial?

A: Yes, specific polyphenols like resveratrol, found in red wine, and epicatechin, found in dark chocolate, have been studied for their potential health benefits. However, it’s important to consume a variety of polyphenol-rich foods to obtain a wide range of benefits.

Q: Can polyphenols help with brain health and cognitive function?

A: Research suggests that polyphenols may have a positive impact on brain health and cognitive function. They have been associated with a reduced risk of age-related cognitive decline and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

Q: How can I incorporate polyphenol-rich foods into my diet?

A: Incorporating polyphenol-rich foods into your diet can be as simple as enjoying a bowl of mixed berries for breakfast, sipping on green tea throughout the day, adding a sprinkle of cinnamon to your oatmeal, or using olive oil as a salad dressing. It’s about making small changes and incorporating these foods into your regular meals and snacks.

Q: Can I get enough polyphenols through supplements alone?

A: While polyphenol supplements are available, it’s generally recommended to obtain polyphenols from whole foods. Whole foods provide a combination of polyphenols along with other beneficial nutrients and fibers, which work synergistically to support health.

Q: Are there any precautions to consider when consuming polyphenol-rich foods?

A: Polyphenol-rich foods are generally safe for consumption, but it’s important to be mindful of any allergies or sensitivities you may have to specific foods. Also, moderation is key, as excessive consumption of certain foods like dark chocolate or red wine may have negative effects.

Q: Can I cook with polyphenol-rich foods without losing their benefits?

A: Cooking methods can affect the polyphenol content in foods to some extent. To preserve polyphenols, it’s recommended to use gentle cooking methods like steaming or sautéing rather than high-heat methods. Including a variety of raw and cooked polyphenol-rich foods in your diet will ensure you receive a range of benefits.


A Culinary Cut Above: Fast Cooking Tips

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Terence is the deputy editor for Tropika Club Magazine. He is an analytical individual who enjoys learning about animals and different cultures. He has a curious mind and is always seeking knowledge and understanding. Terence is also a friendly and approachable person who enjoys making connections with others. He is passionate about his work in the publishing industry and takes pride in his collaborations with authors and editors.

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