We’re approaching the end of the first quarter of the year, Are you feeling Fit and energised or could you perk up your normal Nutrient Intake regime?
It is more important than ever to implement dietary strategies that foster the health and balance of the microbiome. At MNC, we’ve emphasised the importance of using probiotics and prebiotics to cultivate the ecology of the gut. But, there is a group of compounds known as polyphenols that should be included in your tool kit for a nourished microbiome.
There is a positive correlation between polyphenol intake and the presence of bacteria that produce short-chain fatty acids, which serve as signalling molecules as well as fuel for colonic cells.
The prebiotic effects of polyphenols can help to support the intestinal lining, which has important implications for inflammation and immunity. A diet rich in polyphenols positively affects intestinal barrier integrity and supports a healthy gut, due to changes to the gut microbiome and the increase in polyphenols may aid in dissipating inflammation.
Catechins and epicatechins are secondary plant metabolites belonging to the flavan-3-ol group of flavonoids, helpful for maintaining a healthy gastrointestinal mucosal layer and may also be beneficial for cardiometabolic health. Green tea is a rich source of catechins, but catechins and epicatechins can also be found in black tea, red wine, cocoa, and fruit such as pomegranates, pears, and cherries
Anthocyanins are known for providing pigments to richly-coloured red, blue, and purple fruits and vegetables such as blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, apples, and red cabbage. Anthocyanins have been studied for their effects on metabolic health by way of the microbiome and improved insulin sensitivity. A higher intake of anthocyanins also correlated with greater microbial diversity and abundance.
Resveratrol is a stilbene compound that is found in grapes, wine, peanuts, cocoa, and berries. Research on resveratrol indicates fantastic health benefits that include, improved gut function, mineral levels, and, inflammatory cytokines and, the length and diameter of the intestinal microvilli were significantly increased. The microvilli are hairlike projections that play a direct role in nutrient absorption. Liver and serum iron and zinc levels, as well as calcium and magnesium absorption, improve due to the strength of the microvilli.
Here are some quick stress-free ways you can incorporate polyphenols into your everyday eating;
- Consume an array of brightly-coloured plant foods to be exposed to a mixture of polyphenols. Try to purchase a variety of the same foods, such as different kinds and colours of apples and onions. Try the diversity challenge to increase your chances of polyphenols
- Eat foods that are blue, purple, and red. This is easy to achieve – Just top your morning oatmeal or yoghurt with some dark-coloured berries, cherries and pomegranate seeds. Switch out green cabbage for purple the next time you make coleslaw or soup.
- Sprinkle matcha green tea powder into a berry smoothie.
- Enjoy green tea for your caffeine fix instead of your regular cup of joe, or, Try TPu’er tea, a Chinese tea with a unique flavour and tons of polyphenols.
- Enjoy a square of high-quality dark chocolate, at least 70% cocoa content – Try this awesome holistic Cacao Ceremony!
- To boost your meal with polyphenols, look no further than your spice cabinet. – Cook with more Cloves, Peppermint, Star anise, Oregano, celery seed, sage, rosemary, and thyme.
- Some vegetables highest in polyphenols include artichokes, red onions, spinach and Olives – which already sounds like a scrumptious salad, don’t you agree?
If your goal is to incorporate more colourful, plant-based, whole foods into your daily eating but you aren’t sure how exactly to start or you have food allergies or questions about which foods can best support your health – book a call for personal options based on your unique circumstances.