Polyphenol food for your gut

Polyphenol food for your gut

Do you know why greens or produce deep in color are an essential addition to your plate and vital for optimal health?

 

Polyphenols are a class of biologically active phytochemicals that are exclusively found in plants and serve a defensive role that modulates inflammation and metabolic pathways while safeguarding the gut microbiome.

 

The gut microbiota plays a significant role in health/disease in humans, and diet is considered one of the pivotal factors in modulating the functionality, integrity, and composition.

 

We often think of these phytochemicals as what gives fruits, vegetables, herbs, and spices their vibrant color. They include:

 

Flavones (apigenin & luteolin): parsley, thyme, celery;

Flavonols (quercetin & kaempferol): onions, capers, apples;

Flavanones (naringenin & hesperidin): citrus and prunes;

Catechins (EGCG & epicatechin): tea, cacao, red wine;

Anthocyanidins (cyanidin & malvidin): cherries, grapes, berries.

 

Polyphenols have antioxidant, immunomodulatory, and vasodilatory benefits which support cardiometabolic health.

 

However, absorption of most polyphenols in the small intestine is relatively low (5–10%), with the remaining 90–95% ending in the large intestinal lumen where they are exposed to the gut microbiota to be transformed into short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs).

 

SCFAs, such as butyrate, play essential roles in maintaining gut integrity and human health. Butyrate can also be found in animal fats such as butter & ghee.

 

SCFAs support mucus’s integrity by stimulating the secretion of mucin, inhibiting the growth of mucus‐degrading bacteria, and improving microbiota composition.

 

It turns out polyphenols are fuel for your microbes, and certain strains of microbes produce the antioxidants we absorb at functional levels (90% vs. 10% from our foods).

 

Moral of the story: feed your microbes with fiber & colors. You will feel better, with more energy and a better mood!

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