Over the last years, polyphenol-rich foods have received great attention due to their potential beneficial effects toward health. They are found not only in fruits and vegetables, but also in whole-grains, nuts, extra virgin olive oil, coffee and tea. These are components of healthy dietary patterns. This mostly applies to raw foods. Processed food loses most of their polyphenol content.
Recent evidence has proposed that a higher dietary intake of polyphenols may be inversely associated with related mortality due to cardiovascular diseases, certain cancers, cardiovascular diseases and mood disorders.
Numerous reviews summarized the evidence regarding polyphenols and polyphenol-rich foods and their association with NCDs (non-cardiovascular diseases) related to oxidative stress and inflammation, including CVDs (cardiovascular diseases), diabetes, hypertension, obesity, certain cancers and neurodegenerative diseases.
Top 8 Polyphenol-Rich food
Note: a polyphenol-rich diet implies consuming more than 650 mg of polyphenols per day. These eight foods, in their raw stage, have the highest polyphenol content per serving in addition to their other essential nutrients.
Remember: food in its raw stage is healthier than the processed version.
When heated to high temperatures (cooking temperature) or processed, food loses much of their polyphenol content.
Raw Olives are olives that have been harvested from the tree but not yet cured and are intended to use for oil production. They are incredibly high in polyphenols but bitter and not fit for consumption.
Table Olives, on the other hand, are cured olives that are not intended to be consumed as food. The curing process makes the olives more palatable but reduces the levels of polyphenols available in the olive.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil is made from cold pressing, literally squeezing the oil from the fruit of the raw olives. Because this is not a processed food, its content is high in polyphenols.
Particularly, Papa Vince Extra Virgin Olive Oil contains an average of 420 mg of polyphenols / kg at the time of harvest (content of polyphenols decreases with time.)
High in vitamin C, fiber and polyphenols.
Chokeberries and Elderberries have the highest amounts, with 1,123 and 870 mg of polyphenols per half-cup serving, respectively.
Raw Herbs and Spices
Along with their polyphenol content, dried herbs and spices often contain a range of nutrients like calcium, magnesium, and potassium.
Seasonings highest in polyphenols include: Cloves (542 mg per ounce), Peppermint (427 mg per ounce) and Star anise (195 mg per ounce).
Raw Cocoa Powder
While you should limit your sugar intake, cocoa powder is a potent polyphenol source with 516 mg per tablespoon. However, heating and processing cocoa powder to make chocolate products reduces this content.
Raw nuts are an easy way to add fiber, protein, and essential fatty acids to your diet, though because they’re high in calories you should moderate your portions.
Most nuts contain polyphenols, but hestnuts come out on top with 347 mg per ounce. Because of the heating process, roasted nuts have less polyphenol content.
Also used to improve digestion and relieve constipation. Along with their high fiber content, they contain 229 mg of polyphenols per tablespoon.
Because most vegetables contain polyphenols, getting enough in your diet helps you benefit from these antioxidants’ health effects.
Some vegetables highest in polyphenols include: 260 mg in a small artichoke, 168 mg in a small red onion or 40 g in a cup of fresh spinach or shallots. Cooking reduces the amount of polyphenols.
Coffee and Tea
Twenty grams of coffee contains about 35 mg of polyphenols. Consuming teas like black, green, or ginger in smaller amounts, add some polyphenols to your diet.
Polyphenols help protect your body by improving heart health, lowering diabetes risk, containing anticancer properties and raising immunity.
Include Polyphenol-Rich (RAW) food to your diet and help protect your body!
Remember, processed foos will always have lower content of nutrients.
The content in this blog is for informational purposes only, and should not be taken as professional medical advice.
Sources for this article:
1. Effects of Polyphenol-Rich Foods on Human Health, by Giuseppe Grosso.
ORCID NNEdPro Global Centre for Nutrition and Health, St John’s Innovation Centre, Cambridge CB4 0WS, UK.
Nutrients 2018, 10(8), 1089; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10081089
Received: 10 August 2018 / Accepted: 13 August 2018 / Published: 14 August 2018
2. Healthy Foods High in Polyphenols.
By WebMD Editorial Contributors.
Reviewed by Dan Brennan, MD on October 26, 2020. Date accessed: 08/09/2022.