I’m going to share something with you that is scientifically backed to help you live the highest quality of life that is not just the stuff dreams are made of. You know the, “I feel okay” type of existence? Yeah, this isn’t that. This is the “I have the vitality to truly thrive through my day, in touch with my passion and with the belief that I’ll have the energy and health to accomplish my goals.” It’s a life insurance policy you can eat.
Sounds like something you have heard of before, right? I’ve coined the term “Powerphenols” because plant polyphenols have age-defying and health-enhancing properties which warrant a special name to indicate the profound impact they have on our health, and I want you to remember them.
What are polyphenols? Polyphenols are a class of plant compounds that work to protect the plant from things like UV light, microbes, and pests, as well as contribute to the vibrant colors we see in them. Nature is abundant in the way it provides. Not only do these plant polyphenols give protection to the plant, but they also protect us when we consume them. By taking them, you’ll create a shield of wellness that protects you from the visible and invisible signs of aging. Think of them as botanical allies in your ability to stay youthful, beautiful and vibrant.
You get polyphenols in your diet by eating a variety of fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, herbs and spices, from foods like blueberries to flax, cocoa and red wine, onions, and rosemary and by taking specific supplements that I’ll tell you about below.
But first I want to share a little story about how I came to be so excited about polyphenols and why I think you should be too! You probably know that fruits and vegetables contain special compounds and properties that boost health. While I knew that too, my interest deepened, when I began to understand how they protect cellular health and reverse the aging process. It all started when I was enjoying a glass of red wine with my cousin over a discussion of resveratrol and the French Paradox.
The French Paradox highlights the irony that the French people seem to thrive in health despite a diet of fatty (and delicious) foods. The explanation for this: Resveratrol, a potent antioxidant found in red wine that has been shown to increase longevity.
This understanding led me to Italy to meet with an expert researcher on the topic of polyphenols, Dr. Elizabeth Janda.
Dr. Janda has spent her career furthering research around polyphenols and health. In our conversations about polyphenols, I learned that while resveratrol is a significant one with scientific evidence supporting its role in protecting our youth and health, there are many more available to us. How exciting!
She opened my eyes to the citrus bergamot, another important polyphenol. It’s a small sour fruit with a hint of sweetness, growing on the beautiful sun-drenched slopes of Calabria. Dr. Janda described citrus bergamot for its youth-boosting, repair and renewing properties, specifically for cholesterol and heart health. The pith contains the concentrated polyphenols, so it’s important to get the whole fruit extract to reap the benefits. Having access to the worlds brightest minds and learning accurate information from leading scientists like Dr. Janda, who offer validation on the proper usage backed by research of these extraordinary plants is what I love to share with you.
After this experience, I had a strong desire to continue to learn about other polyphenols and what the best ways of using them are to help prevent accelerated aging, quell inflammation and promote the type of great living we all want on a daily basis. The following are some of my favorite polyphenols that I want to share with you. Think of these Powerphenols as an upgraded boost to your life insurance policy. They can give you an edge, and an advantage over the natural forces in life that age us day in and day out:
Compounds in thyme have antiseptic properties that are helpful for sore throats and decreasing your likelihood of contracting a foodborne illness. Other health benefits include lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels while lifting your mood. Add thyme in cooking everything from soups to roasted vegetables and fish, and try putting essential oil of thyme in an air diffuser to purify the air and lift your spirits.
One of my favorite Powerphenols comes from turmeric, the bright yellow phytonutrient that gives Indian and Asian dishes its beautiful color in curry dishes. A potent anti-inflammatory shown to help conditions like arthritis, curcumin can also boost mood, reduce blood sugar and promote heart health. Add curry or turmeric powder to your scrambled eggs in the morning (adding additional fat like butter will enhance curcumin’s absorption) and supplement with Turmeric. Studies show 500 mg with breakfast and dinner is optimum.
Traditionally an Ayurvedic medicine, berberine is considered one of my top Powerphenols because of its ability to produce biological effects similar to that of exercise! In addition to its fat burning properties, berberine is a powerful Powerphenol because of its positive impact on gut health, blood sugar, and cholesterol. Because food sources are limited, it is best to get Berberine in supplement form. It’s thought that taking 500 mg after meals helps you reap its blood sugar modulating effects.
Epigallocatechin gallate or EGCG is the Powerphenol found in green tea, known for its ability to enhance longevity, burn calories, fight cancer and improve brain and heart health through its potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Drink green tea daily and supplement with EGCG. 300 mg a couple times a day is all you need.
In addition to omega-3 fatty acids, flaxseeds contain a type of polyphenol known as lignans. High in antioxidants, lignans provide hormone balancing and anti-aging properties as well as antiviral and anti-bacterial protection. Buy flax seeds whole and grind fresh to ensure the preservation of the precious fatty acids. Sprinkle in everything from salads to smoothies, yogurt, and hot cereals.
Remember, you can get a variety of polyphenols foods in your diet by eating a varied and rich diet full of vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds, herbs and spices. So don’t ever doubt how important planning nutrient dense meals are. The time, energy and resources you invest can be the best life insurance, a policy you can enjoy.
Cheers to living a vibrant life, full of energy, beauty, and youth.