What are polyphenols and why are they so healthy?

Was sind Polyphenole und warum sind sie so gesund?

Polyphenols are a large group of plant substances that are found in almost all legumes, fruits, cereals and vegetables occur. These substances belong to the so-called phytochemicals, too Phytochemicals or phytamines called.

Particularly well known are resveratrol from the leaves and grapes of the vine and flavonoids and anthocyanins from dark forest berries.

Frische Obst auf dem Teller

Substances with very different structures are summarized under the collective term “secondary plant substances”. Around 100,000 different phytochemicals are known to date, some of which are found in human food (Watzl 2008).

Polyphenols therefore occur naturally in our plants. There they serve as colorants and flavorings that protect the plant from the sun or predators or attract beneficial insects. Polyphenols thus also provide for the typical The taste and the Color our fruit and vegetables. They also play a role in human nutrition, as they determine the taste, smell and appearance of plant-based foods.

"Laboratory experiments have shown that polyphenols have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and blood pressure-regulating effects and can influence the immune system." Bianca Arendt, Nutritionist, Federal Center for Nutrition, Germany

The level of knowledge on the importance of secondary plant substances for human health has increased significantly. As has been suspected for a long time, it can now be proven relatively clearly that phytochemicals play an important role in the prevention of various diseases (Watzl 2012).

Which foods are rich in polyphenols?

Polyphenols are found in many plant foods. However, there are some which are particularly rich in healthy plant substances.

  • Peppermint 11g polyphenols per 100g.
  • Cocoa powder or dark chocolate (>85%) between 1.2 - 3.3g Polyphenols per 100g.
  • Blueberries 560mg polyphenols per 100g.
  • Strawberries 230mg polyphenols per 100g.

Above all, berries contain the valuable dye "anthocyanins", which is considered to be particularly healthy. 

  • Blackcurrants: 758mg polyphenols per 100g.
  • Apples: 136mg polyphenols per 100g.
  • Almonds: 187mg polyphenols per 100g.
  • Hazelnuts: 495mg polyphenols per 100g.
  • Artichokes: 260mg polyphenols per 100g.
  • Red onions: 168mg polyphenols per 100g.
  • Spinach: 119mg polyphenols per 100g.

So you can clearly see that polyphenols are found in many, especially fresh, plant-based foods.

How Many Polyphenols Should You Consume Daily?

On average, we take in an estimated 1.5 g of phytochemicals daily through a mixed diet. However, this is highly dependent on the quality and freshness of the food chosen. In general, however, there is no official information on the minimum daily intake. A healthy and varied diet with many above all fresh plant foods, however, covers the normal needs.

Our insider tip for your daily polyphenol boost

With our 3 tips you can supplement your daily polyphenol household and even cover half of your daily requirement straight away. 

1. Forest berries berry smoothie

As already mentioned, fresh berries are very rich in polyphenols. To a rich mixture of To achieve flavonoids and anthocyanins, the berry mixture should be just as colorful.

Here is our suggestion for a supply of approx. 400 mg polyphenols:

  • 30g raspberries
  • 30g strawberries
  • 30g blueberries
  • 50g easily soluble oat flakes (Cologne flakes)
  • 300ml coconut or almond milk (no cow's milk)
  • If you like it cool, just take 2-3 ice cubes
  • 25g protein for the athletes

Mix the whole thing well in the blender and enjoy the daily polyphenol boost.

2. Fruit mash

A delicious fruit puree is an ideal snack. It refreshes and provides many valuable nutrients. It is very easy and quick to prepare.

Here is our suggestion for a supply of approx. 350mg polyphenols:

  • 1 apple with skin
  • 1/2 banana (also rich in magnesium and potassium)
  • 1 Kiwi

Chop the whole thing finely and process it to a pulp with the hand blender. After preparation, the porridge should be eaten as soon as possible.

3. A handful of nuts daily

Nuts are not only rich in protein and healthy omega fatty acids. They also contain plenty of polyphenols. Hazelnuts and almonds in particular are particularly rich in secondary plant substances.

A handful of nuts gives you about 150-250mg polyphenols.

Useful tips for everyday life

With a few simple tips you can further optimize your polyphenol intake:

  • Eat vegetables raw or, even better, lightly cook them, so they contain many polyphenols
  • Orientate yourself on the color of your plant-based foods, the more colorful the mixture, the healthier it is
  • Avoid processed foods, they contain only useless calories and are very poor in nutrients
  • 5 hand-sized portions of fruit and vegetables daily spread over your individual meals

Your body will thank you by making you fitter, healthier and more efficient.

product recommendation

Phytochemicals play a large role in Beyond Nutrition products. So contains our Beyond Recovery natural extracts of ashwaghanda, chamomile and lemon balm. Our Beyond Vitamin D3+K2 even proud 100mg polyphenols from natural apple extract.