Discover Polyphenols in Your Holiday Foods

December 17, 2013


anti inflammatory polyphenols for holiday foodsLet’s face it. With all the fun & festivities, the holidays can be tough on our efforts to eat healthy. However, it can also be a wonderful time to experiment with new ways to incorporate polyphenols into our foods, drinks & snacks.

Polyphenols are compounds made by plants to protect themselves…and they protect us too, in part by impacting the genes that control inflammation.

That’s why adding more polyphenols to your daily diet is an important principle of our anti-inflammatory diet plan.

Best of all, polyphenols are found in a wide variety of great tasting foods! In this week’s Gene Smart Coach, you’ll learn where to find polyphenols to add to your favorite holiday foods.

Where to Find Polyphenols in Your Holiday Foods

polyphenols foods

Polyphenols can be incorporated into many foods that are sure to be a big hit during the holiday season. Fruits and vegetables are major dietary sources of polyphenols, but there are many others.

Fruits: Popular holiday fruits such as cranberries, apples, dates, gooseberries, and oranges are all high in polyphenols. In general, the darker the skin, the higher the polyphenols content.  This is true for vegetables, too.

Vegetables: You can also find polyphenols in many vegetables found in holiday dishes such as broccoli, cherry tomatoes, corn, onions, and sweet potatoes.

Dark Chocolate: Chocolate is a holiday favorite. Did you know that dark chocolate contains polyphenols? The darker the better! Choose varieties that are at least 60% cacao and preferably 70%. Dark chocolate is high in calories, so treat yourself, but with just a few bites.

Green Tea: Looking for something to warm you up after braving the cold winter weather? Skip the hot chocolate and brew a cup of hot green tea. Green tea has been shown to increase metabolism and is a terrific source polyphenols. If you are concerned about caffeine, choose decaffeinated green tea.

Red Wines: If you choose to drink alcohol, red wine is a polyphenols-rich option. Red wine contains between 10 and 100 times the polyphenols of white and rose wines. Merlot, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah’s all contain high levels. If you choose to drink please do so responsibly and in moderation.

anti inflammatory polyphenols almonds

Beans: Most beans & legumes also contain polyphenols. Experiment with holiday recipes containing black beans, chick peas or lentils!

Nuts & seeds: We love heart healthy almonds. Walnuts, pecans, cashews, pistachios and hazelnuts are also sources of polyphenols.  Eat just a small handful though, as nuts are calorie dense.

Spices: You can also find polyphenols in many popular spices such as cinnamon, basil rosemary, sage and chives.

Download our Free High Polyphenols Foods List

For a more comprehensive list, download our free list of high polyphenols foods!  Keep a copy on your refrigerator, and look for opportunities to add high polyphenols foods to your holiday foods, snacks & drinks.

What are Polyphenols?

Polyphenols are a large family that includes over 4,000 diverse compounds widely distributed in plants and their fruits.

The science of polyphenols is at an earlier stage than fiber or omegas, but what we know is very exciting indeed. Most importantly, there is strong evidence for their ability to control gene expression, specifically the genes that control inflammation. They have been shown to act positively on a number of inflammatory diseases. In heart disease, polyphenols reduce platelet aggregation, improve blood lipids, and reduce blood pressure. In diabetes, polyphenols can help reduce blood glucose levels. Several polyphenols have been shown to block processes in individual cells that drive arthritis. Polyphenols have also been shown to help reduce bone density loss and reduce your risk for cancer. Besides helping in these diseases, polyphenols also play an important role in weight loss by increasing energy expenditure and metabolic rate than generally slows during weight loss.

How Many Foods with Polyphenols Do I Need Each Day?

Polyphenols supplement

Try to eat at least 5 servings of fruits & vegetables, plus a good variety of other high polyphenols foods each day.

To help ensure that you are getting enough polyphenols every day, consider our Pomegranate & Green Tea Extract. It’s a distinctive blend of polyphenols featuring two well-studied sources of polyphenols. Available only at Gene Smart, it’s one of the three supplements recommended by Gene Smart for those following an anti-inflammatory lifestyle.

How will you increase your polyphenols this Holiday season? 

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