How do polyphenols work?
Polyphenols are substances with antioxidant properties and can be used to treat the cardiovascular system, inflammatory diseases or simply skin aging. What is the reason for this? These molecules, which come 100% from the plant world, contain exceptional protective properties.
But do you really know what a polyphenol is? And do you know how it works? Discover all the answers to your questions in the article below.
What is a polyphenol?
Polyphenols are a family of molecules, naturally produced in most plants, to protect themselves against external aggression from insects and bacteria.
No less than 500 polyphenols have been identified to date among edible plants. The best known polyphenols are flavonoids, tannins and anthocyanins.
Due to their antioxidant properties, polyphenols are considered important means to mitigate the damage caused by free radicals and the stress of oxidation on the body. So much so that today, they are used in cosmetics for their anti-aging virtues.
What effect do phenolic compounds have on health?
Throughout life, the human body will undergo assaults that will degrade it, such as pollution, UV rays, smoking, alcoholism, stress…
This degradation is characterized by poor cell oxidation, and the proliferation of unstable free radical molecules.
Thanks to their antioxidant properties, polyphenols act directly on free radicals. In fact, they limit and neutralize the reactions of oxygen, particularly those that occur in the cardiovascular system.
As a result, the excess free radicals are neutralized. They are therefore no longer likely to cause harmful reactions in our bodies.
Where can we find polyphenols in nature?
To find polyphenols, focus on the color of the food! Polyphenols are responsible for the color of fruits and vegetables. And to each fruit color corresponds a type of polyphenol: for example, flavins form the pigments of grapes while anthocyanins form those of red fruits.
Several vegetables also contain polyphenols. This is the case for cruciferous vegetables such as green, red and chinese cabbage, broccoli, artichokes and certain herbs such as parsley.
But polyphenols are not only responsible for the color of fruits and vegetables. They are also partly responsible for the taste and smell of certain foods. For example, the bitterness of grapefruit comes from flavonoids, while the bitterness of grapes or persimmons is due to the presence of tannins.
Whether to limit the appearance and development of inflammatory or cardiovascular diseases or to reduce the signs of aging, the polyphenols present in fruit and vegetables provide significant benefits for the body.