Can Polyphenols Reduce Your Risk of Cancer?
If I were to tell you that there are certain foods that have antioxidant, anti-carcinogenic, anti-inflammatory, spasmolytic, hepatoprotective, antiviral, antiallergic, antidiarrheal, AND antimicrobial properties, what would you say?
I know that when I first learned of the health benefits of polyphenols, I made sure my family got enough of them on a regular basis.
What are Polyphenols?
Polyphenols are micronutrients from plant-based foods, such as:
- Cocoa powder and dark chocolate
- Berries – blueberries, blackberries, red raspberries, and strawberries
- Other fruit – black currants, plums, cherries, and apples
- Beans – black and white
- Nuts – hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds, and pecans
- Vegetables – olives, artichokes, chicory, red onions, and spinach
- Tea – black and green
- Flaxseed meal
- Red wine
Keep in mind when you’re purchasing these foods that increased use of pesticides and herbicides in agriculture has diminished polyphenol concentrations in plants. That’s why I recommend buying organic produce.
The Health Benefits of Polyphenols
Since polyphenols are packed with antioxidants, they provide numerous health benefits, including:
- Balance gut health and aid in digestion
- Help manage weight
- Treat type 2 diabetes
- Reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease
- Delay the onset of dementia
- Reduce your risk for Alzheimer’s
- Reduce your risk of osteoporosis
- Reduce your risk of cancer
Polyphenols and Cancer
It’s no secret that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables is going to keep you healthy. But how?
It’s important to know how cancer grows and spreads. Cancer cells have to resist cell death and evade anything that tries to suppress their growth. That’s where polyphenols come in (source).
Polyphenols alter cellular signaling pathways. This affects the initiation, promotion, and progression of cancer cells. Specifically, polyphenols seem to induce apoptosis (death) in cancer cells.
Polyphenols also reverse epigenetic markers in the DNA and are believed to reduce tumor growth (source).
I believe the best source of polyphenols is from organic produce, but most people don’t eat enough to get the nutrients they need. To make sure my family gets their daily polyphenols, we take dōTERRA’s Deep Blue Polyphenol.
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