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What Are Polyphenols? Types, Benefits, and Food Sources

Polyphenols are a category of compounds naturally found in plant foods, such as fruits, vegetables, herbs, spices, tea, dark chocolate, and wine.

They can act as antioxidants, meaning they can neutralize harmful free radicals that would otherwise damage your cells and increase your risk of conditions like cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.

Polyphenols are also thought to reduce inflammation, which is thought to be the root cause of many chronic illnesses.

More than 8,000 types of polyphenols have been identified. They can be further categorized into 4 main groups, flavonoids, phenolic acids, polyphenolic amides, and other polyphenols like curcumin in turmeric.

How can we use turmeric? Curry is a good dish to prepare.

If combined with naan (Indian bread) and chicken or for vegetarian, cheese and for vegan, chickpeas, it is a perfect balanced meal.

The Western composition of curry

In the standard composition widespread in the West, cumin, coriander and black pepper cannot be missing. The digestive and purifying properties of cumin, the antispasmodic and anti-stress properties of coriander, combined with the ability of pepper to influence mental prosperity, make curry even more interesting as a well-being elixir.

Turmeric in curry

The characteristic yellow-orange color is given by turmeric, the dominant ingredient in the composition of curry.

From Hewlings and Kalman, 2017, curcumin, the active component in the turmeric, has been linked to reducing inflammation, ameliorate muscle damage, mitigate oxidative stress, and alleviate delayed onset of muscle soreness (DOMS).

In sports nutrition curcumin seems to:

  • may improve performance before and during exercise, and up until 72h post- exercise with a dose between 150- 1500 mg/day

  • reduce the subjective perception of the intensity of muscle pain

  • Humans appear to be able to tolerate high doses of curcumin without significant side effects

  • may reduce muscle damage

  • can modulate the inflammation caused by physical activity

  • may also have a slight antioxidant effect

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