< back to the wellness blog

March 15, 2022 •

The Power of Polyphenols (And Which Foods Have the Most)

Today I want to highlight a remarkable, truly awe-inspiring  category of plant compounds called Polyphenols – Polyphenols are miracle workers in our bodies. They number in the thousands and thankfully are distributed amongst the full gamut of our plant-based foods: fruits, veggies, beans, whole grains, mushrooms, nuts and seeds.

So–what makes them so amazing? There are two invaluable  things polyphenols do for us that I want you to never forget! If you commit these 2 things to memory, I know  it will motivate you to eat more polyphenol-rich foods!

  • Polyphenols are like rocket fuel for the good, beneficial bacteria in our guts. They support the health, growth, and function of our prized good gut bugs, while simultaneously killing off and thwarting the bad gut bugs, the ones tied to disease. And: 
  • Polyphenols activate those all-powerful anti-aging – longevity circuits. Those amazing sirtuin pathways that allow our cells and tissues to literally repair damage, renew and regenerate. Polyphenols truly give you a reboot back to a younger you.

How do polyphenols do this? They do it through a process we call hormesis. As you see spelled out on the screen – hormesis. Like all phytochemicals, polyphenols are produced in plants in response to environmental stress. Once produced in plants, they activate the plant’s longevity, defensive circuits boosting their survival. And when we eat the plant foods that contain them, they function as a mild stress signal to us – honestly they are slightly toxic for us – not toxic to the point  of  causing  any sort of lasting harm, but just enough toxic to ignite our defensive, healing longevity circuits. Woohoo! Because we know that what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. This is the important concept of hormesis – a concept you are going to be hearing more and more about as time marches on. Hormesis is  involved in all of the other super-hot anti-aging, healing practices like:

  • cold plunging
  • intense heat exposure like sauna’s/hot yoga
  • hunger (think TRE or intermittent fasting)
  • Wim Hof breathing (aka cyclic hyperventilation with retention)

So in summary, polyphenols are awesome for the health of our gut microbiomes, as well as for keeping us young and disease free.

And here is what you have been waiting for – the foods that offer the highest concentrations of these miracle compounds:

  • dark chocolate
  • green and black tea
  • red wine (in moderation of course)
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • all berries
  • pomegranates
  • cherries
  • currants
  • artichoke hearts
  • all citrus
  • filtered coffee
  • apples
  • plums
  • red grapes
  • walnuts
  • kiwi
  • mushrooms

That is one yummy list. So enjoy! !! Lastly, feel free to pass this information on to your friends and loved ones because one of the greatest gifts we can give is the gift of better health. Thank you!