What are polyphenol foods and how does including them in the diet benefit the body and the skin? Read on to learn more about these superfoods and their extraordinary health benefits.
In this article:
- What Are Polyphenols?
- Where Can You Get Polyphenols?
- Purple Tea for Luminous Skin
- What Are the Potential Risks of Polyphenols?
7 Amazing Polyphenol Foods for a Healthy Skin
What Are Polyphenols?
Polyphenols are groups of antioxidants naturally found in foods. They can be further categorized into the following groups:
These are a group of polyphenols that work as anti-inflammatory agents and as antioxidants. They are divided into several groups: flavones, flavonols, flavanones, isoflavones, anthocyanidins, chalcones, and catechins.
- Phenolic acids
These aromatic compounds can be found in vegetables and fruits. They also perform as antioxidants that fight off inflammation.
Lignans promote cardiovascular health. They are mostly found in legumes, grains, fruits, and other vegetables but are most abundant in sesame and flax seeds.
This group of polyphenols supports both cardiovascular and neurological health. Resveratrol is a known example.
Where Can You Get Polyphenols?
Plant-based foods like vegetables and fruits are packed with polyphenols. There are also health supplements formulated to contain sufficient amounts of these micronutrients.
But when it comes to polyphenol foods for the skin, which ones should you include in your diet?
Note: The activities of polyphenols in the body may be affected by the rate of metabolism, its bioavailability, and intestinal absorption. Increased intake doesn’t really mean more or better results.
1. Green Tea
Steeping the right kind of tea is beneficial to your body and your skin. According to a study, drinking and applying green tea topically fights off photodamage caused by UV exposure by fostering DNA repair to the cells.
Green tea is loaded with polyphenols called flavonoids and catechins which protect the skin from premature aging. They have the ability to block wrinkle formation and improve skin texture.
2. Red Grapes and Grape Seed
Numerous health benefits are attributed to red-skinned grapes and grape seeds for their high polyphenol contents like anthocyanins, phenolic acids, flavonoids, and resveratrol. The highest polyphenol content from these fruits can be found in their skin and seeds.
According to a study, when resveratrol is combined with benzoyl peroxide, they enhance each other’s effects against acne-causing bacteria.
Berries are polyphenol foods rich in phenolic acids. They aid in reducing oxidative stress caused by free radicals.
Here are some of the berries that you should include in your diet:
- açai berry
- goji berry
Try this Triple Berry Smoothie recipe for that extra boost of antioxidant in your diet.
Beans are just one of the many vegetables with multiple nutritional benefits. They have high polyphenol content including lignans, which are known to be beneficial to cardiovascular health as discussed in a study published by US National Institutes of Health.
Whenever you are craving for a hearty soup, try this Healthy Black Bean Soup recipe. This will surely warm your heart and your tummy.
Pomegranate is the new wonder ingredient in skincare formulation. This colorful fruit has more polyphenols than green tea or açai berries.
They have high levels of antioxidants, which assist in preventing signs of skin aging. They also support collagen production, which keeps the skin supple and luminous.
Turmeric is a polyphenol food with high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. These characteristics contribute to skin luster and luminosity.
According to a study, turmeric showed effective antidermatophytic activities making it essential in fighting off any fungal activities. In fact, it is widely used in Thai traditional medicine to treat rash, tinea, and ringworm.
You can also try a simple turmeric mask using only a few ingredients. Mix together ample amounts of honey, greek yogurt, and turmeric to make a paste.
Apply the mixture in circular motions to your skin and keep it on for 10-15 minutes. Rinse it off with slightly warm water afterward.
7. Green Leafy Vegetables
Eat your greens! Yes, green leafy vegetables are loaded with polyphenols making them the excellent food choice for your everyday diet.
Green leafy vegetables like kale, spinach, parsley, and collards are known to have increased antioxidant properties, specifically the flavonoids. In fact, according to a study conducted by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, increased intake of these vegetables in the diet lowers the risk for cardiovascular diseases.
Green vegetables are also known to combat free radicals which cause the skin’s collagen to break down over time, causing premature skin aging. Including this in your diet to help get fine lines and wrinkles off of your skin.
Purple Tea for Luminous Skin
Purple tea is a new crossbred version of the common tea plant, Camellia sinensis. Grown only in the rich volcanic soil found in Kenya, it has high levels of antioxidants specifically anthocyanin, which helps with delaying the signs of skin aging.
What Are the Potential Risks of Polyphenols?
Some risks and complications are attributed to polyphenols. Most of which are associated from taking them through supplements:
- interfered iron absorption
- interactions with certain medications
- estrogenic activity of isoflavones
- anti-nutritional effects
- thyroid toxicity
Polyphenols are potent micronutrients that provide excellent health benefits to the body.
It is best to take them naturally by consumption or application of polyphenol foods. Taking them through supplements may come with hazardous side effects to the body cells and the skin.
Which of these polyphenol foods have you included in your diet recently? Don’t forget to share it in the comments section below.