Why are fruits so healthy?
Keeping the brain healthy is a year-round job and summer is the perfect time to focus on brain support. Summer can mean a more active lifestyle which means nutrient needs may also be higher. Plant-based foods are known to deliver considerable health benefits, that are largely attributable to their abundant phytonutrient content. A summer nutrition favorite, fruits, are loaded with vital hydration along with plenty of health-giving phytonutrients like polyphenols. A dominant category of phytonutrients, more than 8,000 types of polyphenols have been identified so far.1 They have all been linked to broad benefits to health and longevity.
Some specific polyphenols, like the flavonoid quercetin, are very abundant and are found in every type of plant food but others, like isoflavones, are specific to certain plant types. All plant phenolic compounds stem from a common intermediate compound and are categorized based on how many ring structures they have in their biochemical make-up. Polyphenols are broadly divided into 4 basic categories1,2:
- Phenolic Acids: These compounds make up about one third of polyphenol content and are abundant in fruits, vegetables, grains, seeds, and legumes, but are particularly concentrated in more acid-tasting fruits. Their major health benefits come from their antioxidant potential and their role in supporting cellular communication.
- Flavonoids: Accounting for over 60% of all polyphenols, many of which are responsible for the attractive hues of brightly colored plant parts like flowers, fruits and leaves, this large class of phytonutrients acts as potent antioxidants and can work synergistically to enhance the performance of other nutrients.
- Stilbenes: These compounds are a diverse group of phytonutrients that are known as “defense phenolics” because they are typically synthesized by plants only in response to infection, insult, or injury. Stilbenes are abundant in fruits like grapes and berries and in the bark of conifer trees like pine trees.3
- Lignans: Known for their support of the cardiovascular system and their role in hormone balance, lignans are found in plants from nuts and seeds to vegetables.4 Flax seeds are undoubtedly the richest source of lignans. Interestingly, though their bioavailability can be improved through crushing or milling the seed, lignans are not associated with the oil fraction so flax oil will not contain significant lignans.5
In general, plant foods contain a complex blend of different types of polyphenols but the distribution of polyphenols within the different compartments of the plant is not uniform and depends on multiple factors. For example, water soluble compounds can be found inside the cells and water insoluble compounds are more typically found in the cell walls.6 Ever been told the peel of an apple is the most nutritious part? Well, that’s probably true since peels, rinds, and other outer plant layers tend to store higher amounts of polyphenols than the fleshier inner plant parts.2 Additionally, many environmental factors such as ripeness, time of harvest, soil type, rainfall, etc. as well as post-harvest conditions related to processing and storage may affect the polyphenol content of plant foods.
Healing and the process of building your best brain can require persistence and perseverance, but it is possible and Vimergy is here to help! Vimergy formulas are packed with polyphenols and other nutrients that support brain performance and fortify your body’s incredible healing power. Polyphenols are abundant in a number of Vimergy products such as Wild Blueberry Powder, PropolisPure, Spirulina, and Micro-C. Vimergy PropolisPure is even standardized for polyphenol content to be sure you get the most nutrition benefit opportunities!
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