Dietary Polyphenols: What Are They? What Are the Foods Rich In Them?

Polyphenols are syntheses that we get from certain plant-based foods. They provide rich antioxidants and good health benefits. It is thought that polyphenols can help to improve diabetes, digestion problem, weight management, cardiovascular disease, and neurodegenerative problems.

You can get polyphenols by utilizing foods consisting of them. You can also consume supplements, which are available in capsule forms and powder.

Polyphenols may also cause many undesired side effects. These are most popular when using polyphenol supplements rather than having them naturally from food. The most frequent side effect with the strongest scientific data is good for polyphenols to restrict or interfere with iron consumption.

Factors that affect the activity of polyphenols in the body cover intestinal absorption, metabolism, and bioavailability of the polyphenol. Although some foods may get higher polyphenol levels than others, this does not mean that they are received and utilized at higher rates.

Know about the polyphenol content of different foods. Unless otherwise stated, every number is given in mg per 100 grams of the food.

Why Do You Need Polyphenols?

A lack of polyphenols is not linked with specific side effects. But they are regarded as lifespan important for their potential to lower your risk of chronic diseases.

Research tells that people who eat polyphenol-rich diets eating more than 650 mg every day – get a lower chance of death risks than those who get lower than 500 mg per day.


Types of polyphenols

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Polyphenols have 8,000 types of polyphenols. They can be further divided into 4-different groups.



These account for about 60% of every polyphenol. Its example includes kaempferol, quercetin, anthocyanins, catechins, which are present in foods like onions, apples, red cabbage, and dark chocolate.

Phenolic acids

This group values around 30% of all polyphenols. Examples include lignans, which are mostly found in fruits, whole grains, seeds, and vegetables.

Polyphenolic amides

This category has capsaicinoids in Avenanthramides in oats and chili pepper.


Other polyphenols

This group adds resveratrol in red wine, ellagic acid in berries, curcumin in turmeric, and lignans in sesame seeds, flax seeds, and whole grains.

The quantity and type of polyphenols in foods are based on the food, including its origin, how it was farmed, ripeness, storage, transported, and preparation.

Polyphenol-consisting supplements are found also. However, they are likely to be not helpful than polyphenol-rich foods.


Foods rich in polyphenols

Cloves and other seasonings

Cloves and other seasonings
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According to a 2010 study that found the 100 foods rich with polyphenols, cloves is a top one to provide polyphenols. Clove has 15,188 mg of polyphenols every 100 g. There were different seasonings with high rankings also. These included dried peppermint, which ranked second with 11,960 mg polyphenols, and star anise, which provide 5,460 mg.


Cocoa Powder

Cocoa Powder 1
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Cocoa powder was the fourth most extravagant polyphenol food distinguished, with 3,448 mg polyphenols per 100 g of the powder. It’s anything but unexpected that dull chocolate fell not far behind on the rundown and was positioned eighth with 1,664 mg. Milk chocolate is likewise on the rundown. Because of its lower cocoa content, lower further down the rundown at number 32. Discover a determination of cocoa powder and dark chocolate on the web.




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Different types of berries provide rich polyphenols. These include famous and easily accessible berries like:

blackberries – 260 mg polyphenols

highbush blueberries – 560 mg polyphenols

red raspberries – 215 mg polyphenols

strawberries – 235 mg polyphenols


Other Berries include

  • Black elderberries
  • Black grapes
  • Cherries
  • Blueberries
  • Nectarines
  • Grapes
  • Lemon
  • Grapefruit
  • Pomegranate
  • Pears
  • Peaches
  • Raspberries
  • Plums



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Apple also has polyphenols. This content in apple help to benefit hay fever, obesity, fats, and high cholesterol. The antioxidant polyphenols present in apples help to block cholesterol and fat from adding to the body and slow down bad cholesterol and fat production. It allows helping in weight loss.



Apricots 1
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Apricot species is one of the essential Mediterranean fruits. The fruits are necessary for the diet of Mediterranean and Asian countries in which the apricot is utilized as fresh and dried fruit and a good source of nutrients.

Despite the number of genetic resources and the different studies found into the species, there are some studies focused on fruit quality. Among the different syntheses of fruit quality, polyphenols are divided as the most plentiful antioxidants in nature, being essential as a source of health benefits as well as a strong source of natural products for a food source.

The primary role of polyphenols in human nutrition describes this synthesis as the most suitable for defining fruit quality. In this research, the polyphenol content on fruits from various apricot varieties have elite cultivars, and hybrids from the IVIA breeding program have been compared to getting the genotypes with a relevant contribution to fruit quality.



Vegetables 1
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  • asparagus
  • artichokes
  • endives
  • carrots
  • red lettuce
  • broccoli
  • red chicory
  • spinach
  • potatoes
  • red and yellow onions
  • shallots


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  • black beans
  • tofu
  • tempeh
  • soy meat
  • soy yogurt
  • soybean sprouts
  • soy milk
  • white beans

Nuts and seeds

Nuts and seeds 1
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  • flax seeds
  • hazelnuts
  • almonds
  • chestnuts
  • walnuts
  • pecans


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  • rye
  • oats
  • whole wheat


Herbs and spices

Herbs and spices
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  • Caraway
  • Cinnamon
  • Celery seed
  • Cumin
  • Dried basil
  • Dried marjoram
  • Curry powder
  • Dried peppermint
  • Lemon verbena
  • Dried parsley
  • Dried spearmint
  • Rosemary
  • Mexican oregano
  • Sage
  • Thyme
  • Star anise



Dark Chocolate
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  • black tea
  • cocoa powder
  • capers
  • dark chocolate
  • coffee
  • rapeseed oil
  • ginger
  • vinegar
  • green tea
  • red wine
  • olives and olive oil



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Beans consist of a large number of nutritional benefits. Therefore, it is no surprise that they offer good polyphenols. White beans and black beans in particular have high polyphenols. Black beans have 59mg every 100g, and white beans provide 51 mg.



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Nuts can be high-calorie food, but they contain good nutritional punch. Protein, also provide polyphenol content.

One 2012 study discovered polyphenols levels in different raw and roasted nuts. Nuts with high polyphenols include:

hazelnuts – 495 mg polyphenols

almonds – 187 mg polyphenols

walnuts – 28 mg polyphenols

pecans – 493 mg polyphenols


Black and green tea

greentea blacktea
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Additionally, adding green tea or black tea also provides polyphenols. Black tea provides 102 mg polyphenols every 100 mL and green tea 89 mg.


Red wine

Red wine
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Different people consume one glass of red wine every night to get antioxidants. The high number of polyphenols in red wine leads to an antioxidants count. Red wine has a complete 101 mg of polyphenols every 100 mL.

White wine and Rose, while not as helpful, still provide a decent number of polyphenols, with 100 mL of every having around 10mg polyphenols. 

Polyphenols: Health benefits

Polyphenols have been related to different health benefits.

May Lower Blood Sugar Levels

May Lower Blood Sugar Levels
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Polyphenols may help to reduce your blood sugar levels, causing reduce type2 diabetes risk. That is partly because polyphenols may stop the breakdown of starch into simple sugars, reducing the likelihood of blood sugar spikes after meals. These compounds may also stimulate insulin secretion, a hormone that is needed to alternate sugar from the bloodstream into your cells and stabilize your blood sugar levels.

Different research further links polyphenol-rich diets to reduce fasting blood sugar levels raised glucose tolerance, and raised insulin sensitivity are all necessary factors in reducing the risk of type-2 diabetes.

According to one study, people consuming the highest quantity of polyphenol-rich foods had up to a 57% lower risk of growing type2 diabetes over 2-4 years, compared with those consuming the lowest amount.

Among polyphenols, research recommends that anthocyanins may provide the strongest antidiabetic effect. They are commonly present in purple, red, and blue foods like currants, berries, and grapes.


Low Risk Of Heart Disease

Low Risk Of Heart Disease
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Including polyphenols in diet may promote heart health. The expert thinks that this is high because of the antioxidant properties of polyphenols, which help to lower chronic inflammation, heart disease risk factors.

According to recent reviews relate polyphenol supplements reduce blood pressure and bad cholesterol levels, as well as good cholesterol.

Another study discovered a 45% decreased risk of death from heart problems in those with raised enterolactone levels, which are a marker of lignan consumption. Lignans are a type of polyphenol commonly present in whole grains and flax seeds.


Prevent Blood Clots

Prevent Blood Clots
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Polyphenols may lower the risk of forming a blood clot. Blood clots are formed when the platelets circulating in the bloodstream start to clump together. This process is called platelet aggregation and is useful in stopping extra bleeding.

However, extra platelet aggregation can lead to blood clots, which can have bad health effects, including stroke, deep vein thrombosis, and pulmonary embolism.


Protect Against Cancer

Protect Against Cancer 1
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Research consistently links diets containing plant foods to reduce the risk of cancer, and different experts think that polyphenols are partially responsible for this.

Polyphenols provide strong antioxidants and effects of anti-inflammation, both of which can be helpful for cancer prevention.

A study review of test tube research recommends that polyphenols may block the development and growth of different cancer cells.

In humans, different research links high blood markers of polyphenols consumption to reduce the risk of prostate and breast cancers, while others have no effects. Therefore, more research is required before the conclusion.


Promote Healthy Digestion

Promote Healthy Digestion
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Polyphenols may also benefit digestion by boosting the good gut bacteria while reducing harmful bacteria.

For example, evidence recommends that polyphenol-rich tea extracts can boost beneficial bifidobacteria growth.

Similarly, green tea polyphenols may help to fight against harmful bacteria such as E.Coli, C.difficile, and Salmonella. It also improves symptoms of peptic ulcers and inflammatory bowel disease.

Furthermore, increasing evidence shows that polyphenols may help probiotics survive and thrive.


Promote Brain Function

Promote Brain Function
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Foods with rich polyphenol may help to promote memory and focus. One research report consuming grape juice consisting of natural polyphenols, which help to promote memory and mental impairment in 12 weeks.

Others recommend that cocoa flavanols may help blood flow to the brain. It relates these polyphenols to increase working memory and attention.

Similarly, the plan extract rich polyphenol Ginkgo biloba appears to increase memory, concentration, and learning. It also helps short-term and long-term memory and brain activity in people with dementia.

Potential Complications and Risks

There are some complications and risks linked with polyphenols. These seem to be most heavily linked with consuming polyphenol supplements. More research is required to analyze the right risk of these complications, which include:

  • Genotoxicity
  • Thyroid Issues
  • Carcinogenic Effects
  • Estrogenic Action in Isoflavones
  • Interactions with Other Medicine

What About Polyphenol Supplements?

Supplements have the benefit of getting a consistent dose of polyphenols. However, they also provide different potential drawbacks. First, supplements have not been frequently shown to provide similar benefits as polyphenol-rich food and they do not consist of any extra beneficial plant synthesis typically present in whole foods.

Moreover, polyphenols, seem to work well when interacting with the different other nutrients naturally present in foods.

It is currently not clear whether isolated polyphenols, like those in supplements, are more effective than those present in foods.

Finally, polyphenol supplements are not normal, and different consist doses over 100 times larger than those present in foods.

More research is required to have effective and safe dosages, and it is not clear whether these large doses are helpful.

Side Effects

polyphenols Side effects of polyphenols
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Polyphenol-rich foods are safe for most people. Similar cannot be recommended of supplements, which tend to offer much higher quantities of polyphenols than those commonly present in a healthy diet.

According to animal research show, that high-dose of polyphenol supplements may lead to tumors, kidney damage, and an imbalance in thyroid hormone levels. In humans, they may lead to more risk of stroke and premature death.

Some polyphenol-rich supplements can interfere with nutrient absorption or medications. For example, they may lower the body’s ability to absorb iron, folate, and thiamine.

If you have a diagnosed deficiency of nutrients or are consuming medications, it may be good to speak to your healthcare offer about polyphenol supplements before consuming them.

Additionally, some polyphenol-rich foods, such as peas, and beans may provide rich lectins. When eaten in large amounts, lectins may cause unpleasant digestive symptoms like bloating, gas, and indigestion.


Polyphenols are strong plant compounds that require in the body. They have different health benefits that may protect the growth of cancers, osteoporosis, cardiovascular, and diabetes.

It is best to consume polyphenols from foods commonly consisting of them, instead of through artificially created supplements, which may come with additional side effects. If you take supplements, make sure they are prepared by a reputable company with high-quality sourcing.


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