• Cory Morrison

What characteristics do polyphenols have that are beneficial?

Updated: Nov 1

Polyphenols and properties

Polyphenols are types of compounds found in plant foods that provide numerous health benefits. Properties in polyphenols can reduce inflammation and protect free radical cell damage. The lack of free radical cell damage can prevent cancer, heart disease, stroke and other aging-related diseases.

Polyphenol molecule
Epigallocatechin gallate (egcg) green tea polyphenol molecule (Photo credit: Molekuul/Can Stock Photo)

In addition, polyphenols have anti-cariogenic and anti-microbial properties. If you don’t want tooth decay or if you think you’ve caught a bug but don’t want to develop symptoms, polyphenols can prevent all of this.

What are the four categories of polyphenols?

The four polyphenol categories are flavonoids, lignans, phenolic acids and stilbenes.


Flavonoids can attack free radicals that reduce antioxidant levels, as well as pathogens. Some types of flavonoids can also heavily affect blood pressure. Plus, if you didn’t think tea, coffee, or say had too many health benefits, flavonoids in them can reduce heart attack and stroke risks.


Lignan has cancer-reducing properties, promotes good heart health and reduces free-radical cell damage. Lignan can also prevent cholesterol levels from getting too low and can ensure good gut bacteria and bowel movements.

Phenolic acids

Phenolic acids can ensure cells function by oxidation, removing free radicals from the body and limiting inflammation.


Stilbenes, like the others, can prevent and treat diseases such as cancer because of anti-inflammability and antioxidants.

How polyphenols can save the world

Polyphenol market

The good news is, market statistics indicate that polyphenol values are increasing. 2020’s global polyphenol market was $1.6 billion and could be $2.7 billion by 2030. If this occurs, this would be a 5.2% increase. A Data Bridge Market infographic, however, shows that the market could be $16.52 billion by 2029 because people over time may be more selective about food choices. Data Bridge Market Research also suggests a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 30.20% for the next seven years.

Consuming polyphenols

Studies have shown that people who consume more than 650 milligrams of polyphenol per day have lower death risks than people who consume less than 500 milligrams per day.

Extra virgin olive oil
(Photo credit: Mythja/Can Stock Photo)

One example of polyphenols reducing death is some Spain studies indicate that people who regularly consume extra virgin olive oil, which contain more phenolic compounds than other olive oils, have a 10 to 14% lower cardiovascular disease risk than people who regularly consume other types. Dr. Steven Gundry of Gundry MD Polyphenol-Rich Olive Oil, says, “The more bitter your olive is, the better for you. This bitter taste equates to higher polyphenol content. And having a diet rich in polyphenols supports better health overall.”

Also, tea catechins can reduce artery clogging and two to three daily cups of tea that aren’t overly hot can lower risks for numerous diseases.

Verywellfit recommends a polyphenol-rich diet that includes the following:

(Graphic Credit: Cory Morrison/Canurta)

Livestrong.com posted high-polyphenol foods and how many milligrams of polyphenols they have. They include:


Milligrams of polyphenol



Dark chocolate


Flaxseed meal




Wild blueberries


Black olives








Sweet cherries








Fruit, vegetables, coffee, tea, some types of nuts, whole-grain foods, and extra virgin olive oil can indeed play major factors to a longer life.

Polyphenols and aging

In 2018, scientists have noticed a strong connection between polyphenols and slower physical aging. Meg Hagar, a naturopathic and holistic dietician, called the research fascinating.


What’s a possible secret to a long life and no early onset of serious diseases? A life surrounded by polyphenols would be it. One paying attention to their diet and having a good understanding of polyphenols can lengthen a lifespan more than they realize.


Abdel-Shafy, Hussein & Mansour, Mona. (2017). Polyphenols: Properties,

Occurrence, Content in Food and Potential Effects.

Allied Market Research. Polyphenol Market

Cision PR Newswire. Gundry MD Polyphenol-Rich Olive Oil Celebrates 450+ Positive Reviews

Data Bridge Market Research. Global Polyphenol Market - Industry Trends and Forecast to 2029

Healthline. What Are Polyphenols? Types, Benefits, and Food Sources

Healthline. What Are Flavanoids? Everything You Need to Know

Journal of Lifestyle Medicine. The Rule of Functional Foods in Cutaneous Anti-Aging

Livestrong.com. 13 Tasty Foods High in Polyphenols to Stock Up On

MDPI. Plant Phenolics: Extraction, Analysis and Their Antioxidant and Anticancer Properties

National Cancer Institute. Dictionary of Cancer Terms

Prevention Watch. The benefits of extra virgin olive oil on cardiovascular health

Singhal K, Raj N, Gupta K, Singh S. Probable benefits of green tea with genetic implications. J Oral Maxillofac Pathol 2017;21:107-14

Tarladalal.com. Lignan Recipes, Lignan Rich Foods, What are Lignans?

Taylor & Francis Online. Natural Product Polyphenols of Relevance to Human Health

Verywellfit. How to Add Phenolic Acids to Your Diet

Verywellfit. Polyphenols and Their Food Sources

Webmd.com. Healthy Foods High in Polyphenols

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