3 Tasty, Healthy Tongue Twisters

19 February, 2013

If you're up on your health reading, you might recognize these tongue twisters: resveratrol, quercetin, and catechin. Red wine has these polyphenols in abundance. You'll also find them in a less concentrated form in whole red grapes and red grape juice. Are you getting enough polyphenols? Better stock up. High intake is associated with as much as a 40 percent drop in heart disease risk.

There's no clear-cut recommendation for daily polyphenol intake. Daily intake values are usually established to help people avoid deficiency syndromes, but low polyphenol intake isn't necessarily associated with any deficiencies. It's just that they're really good for your health in general.

Quercetin, catechin, and resveratrol, the polyphenols found in red grape products, reduce cardiovascular disease risk in several ways: They keep blood cells from sticking together and forming clots, they prevent free radical damage better than vitamins C and E, and they counter the kind of inflammation that makes a mess of blood vessel walls. And researchers recently discovered yet another action: These polyphenols inhibit a biochemical change within heart cells that leads to heart rhythm disorders and heart failure.

If you're eating a wide variety of foods -- especially lots of colorful fruits and vegetables -- you're probably getting enough polyphenols. Aim for five servings of vegetables and four servings of fruit daily, and you'll very likely have your bases covered.

Here's more info:

  • For catechins, turn to grapes, chocolate, and berries. 
  • Snack on some peanuts for a dose of resveratrol.
  • Quercetin is found in apples, grapefruit, onions, and black tea.
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