If you’re familiar with the world of health and wellness, you’ve probably come across words such as polyphenols and antioxidants. Perhaps you’ve heard someone say: “There are polyphenols in red wine, it’s healthy and fights aging.” Or how about: “Berries are filled with antioxidants, you should add them to your diet”?
Those two statements are true, but what exactly are polyphenols and antioxidants, and why should we consider adding them to our daily lives? What are polyphenols’ benefits? Can they slow down aging? We’ll cover the answers to these questions in this article.
What are polyphenols?
Polyphenols are a group of compounds consisting of micronutrients and phytochemicals found in plant-based food and beverages.
Micronutrients are nutrients that our bodies can’t make and only require in tiny amounts, such as vitamins and minerals. Phytochemicals are chemicals that plants produce to grow and protect themselves.
Polyphenols are packed full of antioxidants, which serve to protect the body and its systems from oxidative stress that causes cell damage. Many age-related diseases are thought to be linked to damage that comes from oxidative stress. Therefore eating a diet rich in polyphenols and supplementing wisely can play an important role in helping us live long and healthy lives.
What do polyphenols do?
In recent years, polyphenols have come under the spotlight because of the role that they play in keeping us healthy and preventing degenerative diseases.
Eating a diet rich in polyphenols has been linked to many health benefits, these may include:
- Lowering blood sugar
- Boosting the immune system
- Improving heart health
- Preventing blood clots
- Reducing inflammation
- Protecting against cancer
- Promoting healthy digestion
- Improving brain function
- Helping weight loss
Many of these benefits will have a positive influence on longevity because it reduces the chance of getting age-related diseases and conditions, such as diabetes, arthritis and heart disease.
Not only this, but some polyphenols have anti-inflammatory properties and are also thought to fight cancer. Having a diet that is rich in fruit and vegetables has been shown to reduce your chances of getting certain types of cancers and it’s thought that this is largely due to polyphenols.
How do polyphenols act as antioxidants?
Polyphenols act as antioxidants by fighting free radicals in our bodies. Every process in our body requires a chemical reaction. Free radicals are formed almost like waste products from those chemical reactions. In short, free radicals are unstable oxygen molecules that have unpaired electrons. These compounds require electrons to become stable and if they can’t find electrons easily, they will take them from the cells in our bodies, causing harm and damage.
However, free radicals can also be formed in our bodies from other factors such as environmental pollution, high levels of stress, cigarette smoke, alcohol consumption, high blood sugar levels, and infections. These additional factors can cause the levels of free radicals to be too high for our bodies to combat naturally, resulting in oxidative stress which causes harm and damage to our cells.
Oxidative stress over a long time period can actually damage your DNA and other important molecules. This may lead to an increased chance of getting cancer and scientists also think that this has a large role to play in aging and diseases.
This is where antioxidants like polyphenols come in. Antioxidants bring stability to free radicals by giving them electrons and neutralizing them, thereby preventing oxidative stress. In a way, antioxidants can be seen as the “cleanup crew” for free radicals.
The less free radicals, the less chance of damage to your cells and DNA therefore potentially decreasing your chances of lifestyle-related diseases and conditions related to aging.
Which foods contain polyphenols?
There are over 500 polyphenols and they occur particularly in fruits and vegetables. So eating a diet that is predominantly plant-based and high in a variety of fruit and vegetables will help ensure that you get in polyphenols.
If you’ve read our article, Lessons From The Blue Zones -Feel Younger for Longer, having a predominantly plant-based diet will probably ring a bell. Most of the residents in these zones eat a diet that is mostly plant-based and rich in polyphenol-containing foods.
Apart from fruit and vegetables, polyphenols can be found in these foods:
- Black or white beans-
- Chocolate (dark)
- High-quality nuts and seeds such as almonds, hazelnuts, macadamia - Nuts, pecans, and walnuts
- Pomegranate juice
- Tea (black and green)
- Red wine
You can also take specific polyphenols in supplement form to get - maximum health benefits from these compounds.
Why supplement with polyphenols?
There are essential proteins in our diets and essential fats, both of which we cannot live without and our bodies can’t manufacture. Research still needs to be done on the daily requirements for polyphenols. However, polyphenols are known as being longevity essentialbecause of the important role they play in reducing the risk of chronic diseases over time. Therefore, to live a long, healthy, and happy life, it’s essential that you include polyphenols into your diet.
In today’s busy world, it’s not always easy to get in sufficient fruit and vegetables, especially those that are organic. And, when you do, you can’t tell the quality or quantity of polyphenols that may be in the food because of influencing factorssuch as where the food was grown, how fertile the soil was, how it was transported, how ripe it is and how it’s prepared or cooked.
By supplementing wisely with high-quality polyphenols, you can be sure that you are getting in sufficient amounts. This is an important factor to consider, especially because of the significant role that polyphenols seem to play in preventing age-related conditions.
What polyphenols help with aging?
With so many polyphenols, it can be hard to know which ones to focus on specifically to help with aging.
At Youth & Earth, we have specially formulated our product PRESERVAGETM to consist of those polyphenols that are known to boost the longevity gene Sirtuin. Our carefully chosen formulation consists of:
Resveratrol is one of the most effective sirtuin activators because it mimics calorie restriction which helps the body go into survival mode. Resveratrol is the polyphenol that’s found in red wine, so yes, that glass in moderation can help slow down aging.
Studies show that when combined with Quercetin or Curcumin there is a 300% increase in permeability
Quercetin (a pigment found in grapes and berries) has been shown to have antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and anti-carcinogenic properties. It also boosts the body’s immune system.
Curcumin (found in turmeric) helps the body cope with oxidative and inflammatory stress, metabolic syndrome, arthritis (a form of inflammation), and hyperlipidemia (high levels of fat particles in the blood). It is well-established as a treatment for enhanced recovery after exercise, too. The polyphenol curcumin by itself, however, is not useful because of its low bioavailability. It must be taken together with piperine (the major active component of black pepper) which increases its bioavailability by 2000%.
In PRESERVAGE, we use BioPerine® a commercial preparation of piperine extracted to a level of 95% purity. It has been found to enhance the absorption of nutrients by at least 30% but as seen above, it can have very profound effects on bioavailability when used with properly chosen nutrients.
This all-natural combination supplement has been specifically formulated to enhance the bioavailability of these key polyphenols and boost Sirtuin to slow down the natural aging process. It is a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory formula aimed to improve your health and wellness.
We all grow older as time marches on, but that doesn’t mean that aging should be accompanied by disease and degeneration. By adopting a few simple healthy lifestyle practices today such as incorporating exercise, eating a diet rich in polyphenols and supplementing wisely, you can slow down the aging process.
You have to ask yourself: Where is the advantage of living to be 98 or 103 if you can’t get out of your chair and dance like Dick Van Dyke did at age 91 in the movie Mary Poppins Returns; if you can’t go to the store to go shopping; if you can’t book a cruise vacation and spend some of your grandchildren’s inheritance?
By starting to supplement with PRESERVAGE today, you’ll be investing in your health and towards a better retirement life with fewer rocking chairs and more events!
The content of this article is for informational purposes only. It’s not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or health provider before starting a new health regime or program. Do not ignore medical advice or delay seeking it because of something you’ve read on this site or any Youth & Earth product.