With a diet rich in polyphenolic compounds

December 6, 2020 no comments Paul Categories Latest News

The more we learn about how to maintain optimal health and wellness, the more we come back to understanding that nature really does know best. Our current lifestyles have dramatically reduced our exposure to nature(1) and the diversity of our diets(2). The resultant effects are obvious for all to see. From the Japanese forests conserved solely for the medically beneficial practice of Shinrin Yoku(3),(4), to the social prescribing of horticulture classes for improving mental wellbeing (5),(6), our connection to nature is making a comeback. 

When it comes to our diet, never has it been more important to eat a variety of fresh fruit and veg, not just for the fibre, vitamins, and minerals(7), but also for a group of nutrients known as polyphenolic compounds(8). Polyphenolic compounds pack a powerful antioxidant punch, helping to mop up free radicals from cellular metabolic processes(9) reducing inflammation(10), as well as supporting the health of our precious gut microbiome(11). 

We can find polyphenolic compounds in a variety of forms, in different coloured fruits and vegetables. As these compounds act as antioxidants they often serve a protective function within the plants, to prevent oxidative damage from the sun’s UV radiation(12). A group of organisms that contain a particularly high amount of antioxidant compounds are algaes. There’s a reason algae produces a high amount of antioxidants, they are highly fragile cells that are particularly vulnerable to damage from UV radiation. Spirulina is a blue green algae, that produces copious amount of antioxidants including phenolic compounds(13), such as gallate, chlorogenate, cinnamate, pinostrobate, and p-OH-benzoates as well as salicylic, trans-cinnamic, synaptic, chlorogenic, and caffeic acids(14). That’s quite an impressive lineup. 

The antioxidants in Spirulina have such a powerful effect that the food industry now extracts and uses them for preserving food and extending the shelf life(15). 

There’s never been a more important time to eat a varied diet rich in vitamins, minerals and polyphenolic antioxidants. 

Add Spirulina to your diet and increase your intake of vitamins, minerals and polyphenolic antioxidants, to help reduce inflammation, feed your gut microbiome and improve your overall wellbeing. 

References

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0272494415000195
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1550413114003118
  3. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1186/s12906-017-1912-z
  4. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11469-020-00363-4
  5. https://conexus-healthcare.org/social-prescribing-qualification-training/
  6. https://www.independent.co.uk/property/house-and-home/pets/news/anxiety-depression-nhs-mental-health-gardening-a9090256.html
  7. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/vegetables-and-fruits/ 
  8. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/mnfr.200700234 
  9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3941893/
  10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5055983/#:~:text=Polyphenols%20may%20exert%20anti%2Dinflammatory,well%20as%20the%20modulation%20of
  11. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6770155/
  12. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2835915/
  13. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/282478811_Comparative_Study_of_Bioactive_Substances_Extracted_from_Fresh_and_Dried_Spirulina_sp
  14. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/236735870_Production_of_phenolic_compounds_from_Spirulina_maxima_microalgae_and_its_protective_effects#:~:text=The%20HPLC%2DDAD%20profile%20of,abundant%20constituents%20among%20different%20extracts
  15. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9777014/