Food Sources of Polyphenol

Aquasource Berry Power with Acai Berries

Berry Power – powerhouse of 15 concentrated berry nutrients including bilberry

We hear a lot about the beneficial effects of antioxidants but less about one type of antioxidant called polyphenols, which are found widely in fruits and vegetables, as well as some other foods.

Polyphenols are categorized as either phenolic acids, flavonoids or tannins, all of which are antioxidants. We can obtain all these polyphenols if we eat a variety of the foods below.

Fruits, and especially dark red fruits like berries, dark coloured plums and purple cherries, contain large amounts of polyphenols, mainly flavonoids and tannins. Blueberries, pomegranate, strawberries and raspberries are a good source of ellagic acid, a tannin. Other fruits high in polyphenols are grapes, apples, cranberries and cantaloupe.

Most vegetables have much lower polyphenol concentration than fruits, although the red-tinted vegetables like beets, red onion and red cabbage are highest among vegetables in overall polyphenol content. Other onions and cabbage, as well as celery and parsley are good sources of flavones and flavonols, which are types of flavonoids.

Aphanizomenon flos-aquae contains a blue pigment phycocyanin which is a protein that has demonstrated antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. So supplementing with the blue-green AFA algae can help reduce the effects of free radicals and inflammation.

Chocolate and Coffee
Many of us will be grateful that chocolate and coffee have also been found to contain significant quantities of phenolic acids, a type of polyphenol. The polyphenol content in chocolate is directly related to its cacao content, with dark chocolate being a much better source than milk chocolate.

Red Wine
Another favourite source of polyphenol antioxidants is red wine. It’s thought that the tannins and flavonoids available in red wine help to explain why the French have low incidence of heart disease, despite a diet high in saturated fat.

Polyphenols may be helpful in the following conditions:

  • eye problems associated with diabetes
  • age related eye disorders, such as macular degeneration and cataracts
  • inflammatory conditions
  • lung disorders and asthma
  • hypertension
  • circulatory disorders
  • coronary artery disease