National Polyphenol Day: What Are Polyphenols & What Do They Do?

You may want to consider including more foods and beverages with polyphenols into your dietary regimen.

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Anjelika Gretskaia/ Getty Images
Anjelika Gretskaia/ Getty Images

Excerpt pulled from Unlocking the Keto Code*

If you’ve been doing any research into the health benefits of different foods lately, there’s a good chance you’ve seen quite a few articles on polyphenols. But what are they exactly, and why should you care? Just in time for the second annual “National Polyphenol Day,” on July 11th, my goal is to facilitate awareness and education about the incredible benefits of these powerful micronutrients.  

Dietary polyphenols are rich in foods like extra virgin olive oil, tea, black coffee, wine, dark chocolate, chicory, hazelnuts, dark berries, and many spices and herbs. Some benefits of a polyphenol-rich diet may include feeling younger, supported mental clarity, healthy weight and heart health support. 

I’ve spent the last 20+ years researching the powers of polyphenols in promoting perfect health! And one of the easiest daily ways to get polyphenols into your diet is to use first cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil on everything — including taking a shot a day!

This year, I encourage you to celebrate National Polyphenol Day on July 11 by recording a clip of yourself doing a shot of Olive Oil. Post it on Instagram or Tik Tok being sure to tag @GundryMD@DrStevenGundry, and use the hashtags #PolyphenolDay #OliveOilShot

To help people follow along with all the celebrations, Gundry MD has released a calendar of events with giveaways and special offers that you can take part in:

  • July 9th – A special giveaway for some Gundry MD Polyphenol Products will take place over @GundryMD Instagram. Includes Grand Prize worth $500, Runner up prize worth $250, and Mini prize worth $100.
  • July 10th – 16th -$10 off Polyphenol Olive Oil at GundryMD.com 
  • July 10th – 17th – Save up to 27.3% off of Polyphenol Pearls for Amazon Prime Day
  • July 11th – Post your Olive Oil shot videos to Instagram or Tik Tok being sure to tag @GundryMD@DrStevenGundry and use the hashtag #PolyphenolDay #OliveOilShot.
  • July 16th – 23rd – $5 off Power Blues at GundryMD.com 
  • July 23rd – 31st – $10 off Polyphenol Pearls at GundryMD.com 

Next, let’s take a look at these incredible substances, their potential health benefits, and some of the best sources. 

WHAT ARE POLYPHENOLS?

Polyphenols are the special micronutrient compounds concentrated in plant leaves, fruits, and seeds that provide antiaging effects by protecting our cells from oxidation. Polyphenols encourage blood vessels to remain flexible, keeping your blood pressure in a healthy range and reducing inflammation. There are also a whole host of stories about how polyphenols control blood sugar levels and modulate insulin release. When eating a plan focused on the three Ps: probiotics, prebiotics, and postbiotics, you’ll be feeding prebiotics (fermentable fibers and polyphenols from plants) to probiotics (your gut buddies) and they will produce postbiotics (the SCFAs and gases that act as signaling compounds) that have the power to heal your gut wall, protect your brain, and, of course, uncouple your mitochondria for weight loss, increased energy levels, and improved short- and long-term health. 

In fact if you’ve heard of the ‘three wise men’ from the bible among the gifts they brought were frankincense, and myrrh. The Bible will tell you these gifts had spiritual meaning. But frankincense and myrrh also have value as mitochondrial uncouplers! Both these compounds come from the resin of trees (Boswellia and Commiphora abyssinica, respectively)— and were used not only to create oils and perfumes, but also different medical ointments with powerful anti-inflammatory and anticancer effects. Today we understand their mechanism of action, but the Wise Men knew their value even thousands of years ago!

FOODS AND SUPPLEMENTS THAT CONTAIN POLYPHENOLS

Plenty of healthy, delicious foods contain polyphenols. Spices are especially abundant in these amazing substances. Cloves, ginger, cinnamon, and cumin are just a few examples. Many herbs, such as oregano, rosemary, parsley, and basil, are also rich in this type of antioxidant. Green tea and red wine are great sources, as are in-season berries and fruits. Other great sources of polyphenols include chestnuts, walnuts, pecans, celery seeds and ground flaxseeds, and of course extra-virgin olive oil!

THE BOTTOM LINE

As you can see, polyphenols are amazing substances that have been shown to provide a wide range of health benefits. As long as your doctor says it’s safe to do so, you may want to consider including more foods and beverages with polyphenols into your dietary regimen.

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