Polyphenol-Rich Foods Alleviate Pain and Ameliorate Quality of Life in Fibromyalgic Women

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Polyphenols are phytochemicals, meaning compounds found abundantly in natural plant food sources that have antioxidant properties. There are over 8,000 identified polyphenols found in foods such as tea, wine, chocolates, fruits, vegetables, and extra virgin olive oil, just to name a few.

Polyphenols play an important role in maintaining your health and wellness. Antioxidants as a group help protect the cells in your body from free radical damage, thereby controlling the rate at which you age.

Polyphenol-Rich Foods Alleviate Pain and Ameliorate Quality of Life in Fibromyalgic Women.

Study

The present study aimed to describe the antioxidant dietary intake of patients with fibromyalgia and explore the association of the results with glutathione status, pain, quality of life, and socioeconomic status. 38 fibromyalgic female patients and 35 female controls were evaluated.

The number of tender points, pain threshold, quality of life, physical activity, socioeconomic status, nutritional status, intake of antioxidant micronutrients and foods with high total antioxidant capacity, and total salivary glutathione were evaluated.

Conclusion

  • >Intake of foods rich in polyphenols was associated with lower numbers of tender points (coffee and pear) and better quality of life (red fruits and dark chocolate) in the women with fibromyalgia;
  • >There was no difference for salivary levels of glutathione between the groups and no correlation for intake of antioxidant micronutrients and pain or quality of life among women with fibromyalgia;
  • >The number of tender points, pain threshold and quality of life were (unsurprisingly) worse in the fibromyalgia group;
  • >The consumption of vegetable juices was more common in women with fibromyalgia and consumption of red wine and beer were more common in healthy women;
  • >The average intake of antioxidant vitamins as well as selenium were higher in healthy women.

 

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Tea also contains polyphenols

Polyphenols have gotten the lion’s share of the attention when it comes to tea’s recent publicity. Research shows they may:

  • >Offer protection from coronary heart disease
  • >Protect against stroke
  • >Improve blood vessel dilation
  • >Protect against numerous types of cancer
  • >Help regulate blood sugar

Antioxidants

Polyphenols are a type of antioxidant. Antioxidants are probably something you know are supposed to be good for you but don’t really understand. The science behind them is complicated and has to do with molecules called free radicals.

For those who aren’t really into the science, think of free radicals as broken-down cells. We all have some. But if you get too many, according to research, they can make you sick. Antioxidants have what those cells need to repair them and be healthy again.

Polyphenols Help Improve Brain Health

One of the major polyphenol benefits is improving human brain health. Incorporating polyphenols and antioxidants in regular diet can improve the cognitive function by boosting memory. Polyphenol also helps to fight the onset of early dementia, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease by improving the psychological and neurological health. Boosting brain power can be achieved by taking a diet loaded with benefits of polyphenols in fruits and plants.

Benefits of Polyphenols in Maintaining Blood Pressure

Complications of uncontrolled blood pressure are detrimental to human health. Polyphenols help keep blood pressure under control. Flavonoids such as catechins, phenolic acids, anthocyanins prove beneficial by checking the physiological mechanisms that cause hypertension or high blood pressure.

Polyphenols Enhances Immune System

The antimicrobial activity of polyphenols and antioxidants improve and strengthen one’s immunity. Polyphenols help boost your immune system and protects against infections. Polyphenols found in berries and cocoa are known to improve immune system in humans. General human health depend a lot of immunity, so incorporate a diet rich in fruits and plants and avail the health benefits of polyphenols in them.

Increasing Lifespan – Polyphenol Benefit

As benefits of polyphenols mainly revolve around their action against aging, preventing ageing problems and improving lifespan can be possible. According to U.S. National Institute of Ageing, polyphenol compounds such as anthocyanins, catechins and phenolic acids are great for slowing the ageing process by increasing the lifespan. Researchers have found that polyphenols can reduce mortality rate by 30% by boosting the life longevity. Benefits of polyphenols in fruits and plants may be worth considering living a healthier life.

Managing Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a condition, in which the bone density is reduced, making bone more fragile and they break easily. It is common in older women, again related to aging. Polyphenols are beneficial for bone as the antioxidants act on bone metabolism significantly, reduce the risk of osteoporosis and help to improve bone health.

How to Optimize the Polyphenol Content of Your Diet

By far the most studied and understood polyphenol group is the flavonoids compounds found in red wine and dark chocolate. However, no one polyphenol is necessarily better than the rest. To optimize the benefits of these natural health boosting agents, it’s important to eat a wide variety of foods that are rich in polyphenols.

High-quality seasonings, raw fruits, vegetables, and seeds are among the richest sources. However, there’s also the issue of bioavailability, i.e. how well your body can absorb the nutrients contained in the food. One of the interesting facts about polyphenols is that they are fat soluble. This means that you should take them with fats in your diet or they won’t absorb as readily.

Eating a diet rich in healthy fats will optimize the amount of polyphenols your body can absorb. How the plant is grown can also influence its healing potential. As noted in a 2004 paper, agricultural practices and industrial processes can reduce the health effects of the polyphenols in the food.

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Benefits of Polyphenol in Regulating Blood Sugar

Polyphenols are beneficial in maintaining blood sugar levels and improving human health. It can help in management of Type-2 Diabetes along with appropriate medications. As complications of diabetes can severely affect a person’s life, including a diet rich in polyphenols can help to prevent diabetes complications.

Flavonoids are the type of polyphenols that balance the blood sugar levels in body by regulating glucose metabolism and improving insulin sensitivity. Flavonoids are usually found in tea and cocoa.

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Study Reference: NCBI

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