Polyphenols are micronutrients that we get through certain plant-based foods. They’re packed with antioxidants and potential health benefits. It’s thought that polyphenols can improve or help treat digestion issues, weight management difficulties, diabetes, neurodegenerative disease, and cardiovascular diseases.
You can get polyphenols by eating foods containing them. You can also take supplements, which come in powder and capsule forms.
Polyphenols may have several unwanted side effects, however. These are most common when taking polyphenol supplements instead of getting them naturally through food. The most common side effect with the strongest scientific evidence is the potential for polyphenols to
Factors that influence activity of polyphenols in the body include metabolism, intestinal absorption, and the bioavailability of the polyphenol. Although some foods may have higher polyphenol levels than others, this does not necessarily mean that they are absorbed and used at higher rates.
Read on to learn the polyphenol content of many foods. Unless otherwise stated, all numbers are given in milligrams (mg) per 100 grams (g) of food.
Cocoa powder was
A number of different types of berries are rich in polyphenols. These include popular and easily accessible berries like:
- highbush blueberries, with 560 mg polyphenols
- blackberries, with 260 mg polyphenols
- strawberries, with 235 mg polyphenols
- red raspberries, with 215 mg polyphenols
The berry with the most polyphenols? Black chokeberry, which has more than
Berries aren’t the only fruits with plenty of polyphenols. According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, a large number of fruits contain high numbers of polyphenols. These include:
- black currants, with 758 mg polyphenols
- plums, with 377 mg polyphenols
- sweet cherries, with 274 mg polyphenols
- apples, with 136 mg polyphenols
Fruit juices like apple juice and pomegranate juice also contain high numbers of this micronutrient.
Beans contain a large number of nutritional benefits, so it’s no surprise that they naturally have hefty doses of polyphenols. Black beans and white beans in particular have the
Nuts can be high in caloric value, but they pack a powerful nutritional punch. Not only are they full of protein; some nuts also have high polyphenol content.
- hazelnuts, with 495 mg polyphenols
- walnuts, with 28 mg polyphenols
- almonds, with 187 mg polyphenols
- pecans, with 493 mg polyphenols
There are many vegetables that 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 various forms and stages,
- soy 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
Want to shake it up? In addition to high-fiber fruits, nuts, and vegetables,
Many people drink a glass of red wine every night for the antioxidants. The
There are some 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
- thyroid issues
- estrogenic activity in isoflavones
- interactions with other prescription medications
Polyphenols are powerful micronutrients that our body needs. They have numerous health benefits that may offer protection from the development of cancers, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and diabetes. It’s best to consume polyphenols through foods naturally containing them, instead of through artificially made supplements, which may come with more side effects. If you take supplements, make sure they are made from a reputable company with high quality sourcing.