The phenolic compounds are a selection of natural nutrients that can be found in a variety of fruits, nuts, vegetables and teas. They are not believed to be essential in humans but do have numerous health boosting properties. In this article I will be taking an in-depth look at 3 key phenolic compounds, explaining how they boost human health and providing a list of the richest food sources.
1) PHENOLIC ACIDS:
The phenolic acids can be sourced from many different fruits, nuts, vegetables, spices and teas. Chilli peppers, grapes, red raspberries, turmeric, vanilla beans and walnuts are some of the top food sources of these natural nutrients. However, most plant based foods contain some phenolic acids.
The phenolic acids have a number of impressive health benefits in humans. They are potent antibacterials (substances that reduce the growth of bacteria), anti-inflammatories (substances that reduce unnecessary inflammation) and antioxidants (substances that protect your body’s cells from dangerous free radicals). In addition to this, they boost your blood health, prevent cancer (a disease that leads to rapid, uncontrollable cellular growth), prevent diabetes (a disease that leads to your blood glucose levels becoming extremely high), soothe the stomach and much more.
The lignans are mainly found in seeds with flaxseeds being the best food source. Apricots, broccoli, cabbage and sesame seeds also contain smaller amounts of lignans. Early evidence suggests that these phenolic compounds may act as anti-inflammatories, prevent cancer, prevent diabetes, prevent osteoporosis (reduced bone mineral density), strengthen your heart, reduce high blood pressure and more. However, further studies are needed before these potential lignan health benefits can be confirmed.
3) TYROSOL ESTERS:
The tyrosol esters can only be sourced from olives, olive leaves and olive oil. The research on these phenolic compounds is still in the very early stages but it has revealed that they are powerful antibacterials, anti-inflammatories and antioxidants. They may also protect against bone loss, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease and more. However, additional research is required before these potential tyrosol ester benefits can be confirmed.
As you can see the phenolic compounds pack a powerful punch when it comes to health. The good news is that filling up on these plant based nutrients is not difficult. Simply choose natural foods where possible and you cannot go wrong. A diet that contains high levels of fruits, nuts, vegetables and teas will provide you with plenty of phenolic compounds and help you maximise your health.