Polyphenols: Include Them For Better Longevity

Powerful plant-based compounds called polyphenols – found in superfoods such as green tea and in the Mediterranean diet – may protect against heart diseases, diabetes, cancer and help prolong life, according to extensive research. Polyphenols are found in green tea, fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, herbs, olive oil, omega 3 fats, dark chocolate and turmeric.

They are also believed to be behind the incredible success of the Mediterranean diet, shown to promote longevity, good health and weight loss. Click here to find out more. A wealth of research presented in a recent report outlines the longevity benefits of polyphenols, including their impact on helping strengthen immunity and lowering the risks of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure and inflammation. A recent Italian study found a polyphenol-rich diet was associated with “reduced mortality risk”. A report published by the National Centre for Biotechnology Information notes that studies “strongly suggest that long-term consumption of diets rich in plant polyphenols offer protection against development of cancers, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, osteoporosis and neurodegenerative diseases.”

The problem is that not everyone ingests enough polyphenols.

Research has shown that 87% of Americans don’t consume the recommended intake of vegetables, 76% fall short on fruit intake – highlighting the need for improved diet and supplementation. Health expert Vanessa Ascencao says that, in addition to a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle, supplementing with a potent green tea extract such as polyphenol-rich green tea may help defend against disease such as cardiovascular disease, depression and cognitive decline. She says studies show green tea may also help lower blood sugar levels, reduce unhealthy cravings and help fight cancer. Longevity LIVE interviewed Vanessa to find out more on about these potent compounds – and how you can make them part of your diet in an easy manner.

How can the average person ingest more polyphenols without too much hassle?

“Growing and cooking with herbs is one of the best ways to consume polyphenols. Adding berries to your smoothies, especially blueberries is another excellent way to consume them. Dark chocolate – 30g daily (85% and higher), red wine and green tea are also among the top 20 rated polyphenol-rich foods. I enjoy using fresh mint and brewing my own tea. I add raw cacao to my smoothies and even sprinkle cacao nibs in my chia seed porridge. I take Origine 8, which is the purest, most potent green tea supplement on the market – and it is rich in polyphenols. One capsule offers the health benefits of up to 25 cups of green tea.”

Click here to find out how you can easily grow your own biofortified microgreens.

Which plants contain the most polyphenols?

  • Cloves,
  • Star anise,
  • Cacao powder,
  • Mexican oregano, dried
  • Celery seed
  • Dark chocolate
  • Flaxseed meal
  • Black elderberry
  • Green tea
  • Chestnut
  • Herbs such as sage, rosemary, spearmint, thyme, capers, basil and curry
  • Strawberries
  • Coffee

More and more evidence points to the benefits of drinking green tea. Besides for Origine 8, which green teas do you consider the best? 

“If one could source brewed organic green teas from Sri Lanka or Japan (preferably the leaves) made by using water temperate of 75-80 degrees Celsius, which should be brewed for about 3-4 minutes, that would be good.”

Which time of the day is best for drinking green tea? 

“Green tea is best to drink in the morning – if you are sensitive – but can be enjoyed anytime.”

How can eating organically and fresh be made easier for the average person?

“We all need to make in investment in out health.

  1. Prioritize cooking healthy meals from scratch. It needs to take you no longer than 20 minutes. Fresh veggies, fresh herbs, salad, good quality animal protein, and root veggies are best. Making smoothies is even easier, as it will take you less than 3 minutes.
  2. Shop at farmers markets. It is often more cost effective, while there is no plastic and the produce tastes amazing.
  3. If you focus on food quality vs food quantity, it will be more cost effective as you will eat less. Eating a more plant-based diet is also an easy, cost effective way to optimize your health. I am not talking about becoming vegan, but eating 80% of your meals around plants is the way forward. Remove sugar, balance your blood sugar levels, eat meals with food fats and ditch the junk food.”