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The Power of Polyphenols_Final

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>> Hey there. Pop quiz. What's good for gut health? Starts with the letter P and is found in a variety of foods from veggies to chocolates. I'll give you a hint, it's not probiotics. Give up? We're talking about polyphenols. Polyphenols are phytochemicals naturally found in plants. These are chemicals that plants make to attract pollinators and protect themselves from danger. Polyphenols often give plants a certain color or taste. They help keep plants strong, healthy, and viable. When consumed, they have an antioxidant effect on the body. Polyphenols are plant compounds that are naturally found in fruits, vegetables, red wine, coffee, chocolate, and tea, basically, all of my favorite foods. Polyphenols can help reduce inflammation. Also it's believed that they may positively affect factors that can contribute to certain cancers and metabolic disorders. In this lecture, we'll explain the benefits of polyphenols and how they can help you justify having that glass of red wine or piece of dark chocolate for dessert. The gut microbiome has an important role to play to make polyphenols usable for the body. It's job is to transform these complex compounds into usable nutrients. Otherwise, they'll just pass through us. In fact, it's estimated that only 5% of polyphenols are readily absorbed in the small intestine. The rest make their way to the colon where they can be broken down by the gut bacteria, another important job for our mighty microbes. Very little are absorbed in the small intestine, and because of their complexity, most of the polyphenols go to the colon to be broken down by bacteria. Therefore, you need ample bacteria there to break them down. Bacteria are needed to utilize polyphenols and polyphenol absorption in turn promotes healthy probiotic gut bacteria. See how good gut health and good nutrition build up on one another? Polyphenols are wonderful source of nutrients for your gut flora helping them to thrive. So, perhaps, eating that piece of chocolate was a good gut instinct after all. Flavonoids are the most commonly consumed type of these beneficial polyphenols, especially in cultures where it's common to drink a lot of tea, coffee, and wine. Flavonoids are also found in many fruits including apples, citrus, grapes, and plums. Flavonoids are known for their antioxidants and anti-inflammatory effects. They help neutralize free radicals in the body. Flavonoids can help buffer against toxin exposure and diets high in unhealthy fats. Some believe that flavonoids should be consumed with meals in order to obtain the most benefits. Let's take a look at six great ways to add polyphenols into the diet, and how doing so can exert positive effects on gut health. One, tea, when we think of polyphenols, tea is often the first thing that comes to mind. Shennong, who is considered to be the father of herbal medicine in China is said to have claimed that tea can detoxify the body of 72 poisons. Cha, the word for tea in Chinese can also be translated to checking the poisons. While we don't have evidence of Shennong's claim, there's evidence that tea has a variety of health benefits many of which are due to the polyphenols it contains. For starters, when healthy gut bacteria consume polyphenols, beneficial byproducts are released that can reduce certain strains of pathogenic bacteria in the gut. At the same time, it can influence an increase in commensal or probiotic bacteria. Regular tea consumption may help prevent obesity for some individuals. This may be due, at least some part, to the high polyphenol concentration in tea. It's also thought that tea polyphenols can positively influence the gut microbiome and increase the diversity of bacteria. These two outcomes might be linked. However, studies haven't been able to demonstrate changes in the microbiome when green tea is taken in supplement or capsule form. It appears that these effects come from drinking whole tea infusions. There are many types of tea. Are some types superior to others when it comes to gut health? All teas have various health benefits, but when we're talking digestion and the health of the microbiome, black and green teas are best. Black tea contains polyphenols that have anticancer and antifungal properties. Black tea can be fermented like Pu'er or semi-fermented like oolong. You can think of Pu'er like a fine wine that ferments over time. Pu'er has also been shown to support weight loss. Oolong tea has been shown to prevent DNA damage, thanks to its antioxidant activity. Green tea is not fermented, but it has its own list of benefits. It can be consumed in leaf form or in a concentrated powder form known as matcha. Green tea can affect how the body handles glucose and can help with weight loss. Catechin green tea is a type of flavonoid which in addition to the caffeine, helps to regulate energy and fat. Drinking green tea may help the body combat negative effects that come with eating a diet high in unhealthy fats. Studies have found that when green tea is fermented or taken in combination with probiotic bacteria, it can help with reduction of adipose tissue and body weight in mice and prevent inflammations from a high fat diet even without any significant dietary changes. It will be interesting to see if this could apply to humans as well. Here's a bonus benefit, in general, savoring a hot cup of tea can have a meditative effect, helping a person to slow down, practice self-care, and unwind. As you've learned in this course, stress reduction is key when it comes to improving gut health. Two, chocolate. Speaking of stress reduction, let's talk about chocolate. The cocoa in chocolate which is derived from the cacao bean is antioxidant and a prebiotic. And did you know that cocoa is fermented as part of the process to produce chocolate flavor? In studies, chocolate has been shown to increase our probiotic friends, bifidobacteria and lactobacilli, and inhibit pathogens. So, yes, you may go on a chocolate diet, just kidding. This is not a green light to eat all the chocolate you want and quality matters too. Chocolate has added sugar and dairy. The darker the chocolate, the more percentage of cocoa it contains. And, therefore, the more health benefits it has. Unsweetened cocoa powder and cocoa nibs are great ways to get the benefits of chocolate without the additives. They make a great add-ins to smoothies and oatmeal. In addition to positively impacting the microbiome, chocolate can have positive effects on the immune system and the gut-associated lymphatic tissue also known as GALT. Some studies have found that cocoa modulates many factors that can lead to inflammation giving it an anti-inflammatory effect. Dark chocolate has also been shown to reduce cortisol and other stress-related hormones when consumed regularly. We're not suggesting that you eat a bar a day, but we're seeing that cocoa has some great benefits, especially when consumed without additives and sugar. And as if you needed anymore reasons to eat chocolate, the cocoa that does make it to your colon can help with glucose levels and gut barrier integrity. When it comes to choosing the right chocolate, opt for low or no refined sugar and over 70% cocoa. Three, red wine, alcohol is typically considered a vice, but drinking the right kind in moderation can actually have health benefits. Red wine has polyphenols that can promote good bacteria in the gut. One glass of wine a day for four weeks has been shown to produce this effect. When studied, cholesterol was also observed to decrease. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, and Syrah are all high in polyphenols. Two glasses have about the same amount of polyphenols as a cup of berries. Resveratrol is a polyphenol in wine that has been extensively studied and can be purchased in supplement form. Many people attribute the low prevalence of cardiac disease in the French despite a typically high-fat diet due to the resveratrol in red wine. Resveratrol also has a positive effect on blood sugar and is currently being looked at as potential treatment for diabetes. Four, coffee, the research on coffee is a mixed bag. There are studies that find numerous health benefits associated with coffee drinking and others that have founded negative effects. This can be confusing. Coffee does have some benefits when it comes to gut health since it's a great source of polyphenols and antioxidants. Like tea, coffee is also connected to weight loss and can support a healthy microbiome. There are even some studies that suggest that coffee reduces the chances of contracting Parkinson's disease by altering intestinal inflammation. And we've saved the best for last. Some of the polyphenols in coffee can boost fat burning even while we sleep. When it comes down to it, the decision to drink or avoid coffee is a matter of bio-individuality. Some folks reap the benefits of coffee drinking and feel few ill effects. However, many people with various gut health conditions find coffee to be an irritant. It can also be a trigger for heartburn. Also coffee can increase feelings of stress and anxiety, and too much can be taxing on the adrenals. When it comes to coffee, it's best to take it on a case-by-case basis and the drinking moderation. If a client drinks coffee all morning and finds him or herself crashing in the afternoon, the positives aren't outweighing the negatives. Five, fruits and vegetables. The healthiest way to get your polyphenols is by eating in abundance of different types of fruits and vegetables every day. Apples are rich in polyphenols and a lot of this makes its way to the colon to feed the gut bacteria. Citrus fruits are full of flavonoids that are anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. Polyphenols are also found in high amounts in dark-colored berries, broccoli, plums, and many other fruits and vegetables. For more comprehensive overview, we've included a link to a polyphenol database in your skill-building activity section for this module. There haven't been as many studies on the various polyphenols and fruits and vegetables, but they are an important component to the overall antioxidant effect of plant foods. Think of plyphenols as the building blocks that help make these foods so healthy. Whatever client's diet looks like, it's important to eat a variety of natural foods with varied color and flavor to diversify their polyphenol intake, and the fresher the better. Also, we've said this before, but it's always best to opt for whole foods. When fruits and veggies are peeled, you'll lose any of polyphenol content that resides in the skin. To get the maximum amount of polyphenols, opt for whole fruit or vegetable over just the juice. Six, olives. Olives and extra virgin olive oil have a high polyphenol count. They're also a great source of healthy fat and oleic acid. This could one of the reasons why the Mediterranean diet is so effective. What do you think? Olive oil possesses anti-inflammatory properties and helps with cholesterol synthesis. Its effect on LDL cholesterol may be due to microbial fermentation in the gut. This is being understood more as ties are being drawn between cardiac health and the gut microbiome. The benefits of olive oil on the microbiome are increased when consumed together with time. It will be interesting to see if this effect holds true with other herbs and foods that contain polyphenol compounds. When it comes to polyphenols, it's helpful to understand the role, the bio-availability place. As I mentioned earlier in this lecture, the majority of polyphenols pass through the small intestine into the colon. Why? Typically, polyphenols are attached to a fiber which carries them through to be eaten by bacteria. That fiber can either support or suppress the bacteria that break down and access the polyphenols. We're still learning the relationship between the two. So the amount of polyphenols you consume doesn't necessarily translate to the amounts that makes it through your tissues. Here's another interesting thing to consider, how you cook and prepare your food can influence the amount of polyphenols you consume. For example, cooking onions and tomatoes can reduce polyphenol content as much as 75% to 80%. Microwave cooking and frying also cause a loss of polyphenols. When food ages such as in wine or tea, it can have a beneficial impact on the polyphenols. But in the case of fruits, the opposite is true. The amount of polyphenols can decrease. Many of the herbs and spices we've mentioned in this course also contain polyphenols. Wherever you prefer to get your polyphenols from, the most powerful benefits come from the amounts of polyphenols you consume and your body's ability to utilize them. Consuming whole foods rather than isolates and extracts can offer all kinds of additional benefits specific to that food. Help your clients experiment with and incorporate polyphenol-rich foods into their diet in a way that works for them and their bio-individuality. To recap, polyphenols are phytochemical compounds found in plants that when consumed and broken down by our gut bacteria, it can have a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects for our bodies. There are many types of polyphenols, and they can be found abundantly in tea, chocolate, coffee, red wine, fruits, vegetables, and olives. Polyphenols feed our gut bacteria and help to support a healthy microbiome. They may also have positive effects on weight management, immune function, and other health-promoting activities in the body. What's your favorite way to add polyphenols into your diet? Head on over to the Facebook group and let us know. Thanks for tuning in. See you next time.

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Duration: 15 minutes and 53 seconds
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Language: English
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Posted by: integrativenutrition on Jun 28, 2018

The Power of Polyphenols_Final

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