Enjoy More Fruit and Vegetables – Polyphenols Will Be There for You

November 19, 2013 in Antioxidants, Health, Health Claims by Joyce Bunderson

Polyphenols are chemically active compounds that are involved in a huge number of roles in the body, including regulating genes, inflammatory and enzyme activity, cell to cell signaling and receptor sensitivity. You don’t really need to know much about the over 4,000 polyphenols; but scientists study them because they seem to be very involved in keeping us healthy. The most important thing to know about this group of substances is that they are found in fruits and vegetables. Let me remind you here that you’re not going to get a nice array from supplement tablets – go for fruit and vegetables, if you want the outcome found in the study below. It’s simple; all you need to remember is that the good stuff (polyphenols) is found in fruit and vegetables.

I realize that it is not a news flash that fruit and vegetables are a healthy component of your diet. What is a newsflash is the way Christina Andres Lacueva and other researchers at the University of Barcelona evaluated total polyphenols intake. Instead of relying upon the memory of the subjects in their study, they developed a nutritional biomarker that showed the total urinary polyphenols (TUP) concentrations. This really notches up the reliability and accuracy of the findings.

The results of the study reported in the September 1, 2013 Journal of Nutrition point us toward a high intake of polyphenols to reduce mortality risk. The 12-year follow-up study found a 30% reduction in mortality in those with the highest polyphenols. One of the authors of the report, Raul Zamora Ros, said that this study corroborates the evidence that people consuming diets rich in fruit and vegetables are at lower risk of several chronic disease and overall mortality.

As you know, if you read Dr. Grandma’s Blog frequently, it is not news, but it is more support telling you how important it is to include lots of fruits and vegetables in your diet.  You don’t need to know the chemistry of polyphenols, memorize the over 4,000 distinct species of polyphenols, or be tricked into taking pills with only a handful or so of them. You can reap the benefits just by increasing your intake of ordinary fruits and vegetables. It’s just that easy.