We know that polyphenols are natural plant compounds that benefit health in several ways, but there is not a whole lot of proven research on their full powers. What we do know is that evidence suggest these antioxidant powerhouse compounds can support heart health and potentially combat disease.
It’s believed this is due to the anti-inflammatory effects of polyphenols, and now new research has unearthed some more information on how to unlock these inflammation-fighting effects.
Polyphenols and Amino Acids for Inflammation
For a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, researchers from the University of Copehagen’s Department of Food Science and Department of Biomedical Sciences in Denmark tested the effects of polyphenols when combined with proteins in food sources. They did this by examining what happened when polyphenol-rich coffee was combined with protein-rich milk.
What they found was that when immune cells were exposed to coffee with milk, the combo of the polyphenols from the coffee and the amino acids from the protein in the milk saw the molecules bind together, which in turn enhanced the anti-inflammatory effects.
In fact, the researchers discovered that the combination of the polyphenols and amino acids was twice as effective at combating inflammation than polyphenols on their own.
Ultimately, the study authors believe this could mean combining protein-rich foods with fruits, vegetables and other polyphenol-rich foods may enhance the anti-inflammatory effects of the foods you consume.
In addition to coffee, some of the top food sources of polyphenols include:
- Olive oil
- Dark chocolate
- Star anise
- Dried peppermint
- Red onions
- Black and green tea
- Cocoa powder
- Yerba mate
- Red wine
In addition to milk — preferably raw milk — some of the top amino acid foods include:
- Whole grains
- Fermented soy
- Other protein foods
In addition to combating inflammation, amino acids — including branched-chain amino acids — have several other proven benefits, including:
- Supporting skin health, including helping with psoriasis
- Promoting sleep
- Potentially improving mood
- Aiding exercise performance
- Preserving muscle mass
- Potentially enhancing weight loss
Meanwhile, fighting inflammation isn’t the only benefit of polyphenols either. Here are some other benefits of these impressive plant compounds backed by research:
- Regulating blood sugar
- Possibly reducing cancer development
- Preventing blood clotting
- Protecting heart health
- Helping stave off chronic disease
- Polyphenols are natural plant compounds that have been shown to help combat inflammation.
- New research out of Denmark found that combining polyphenols with amino acids actually increased the anti-inflammatory effects. They discovered this by combining coffee and milk and examining the resulting effects on immune cells.
- You can obtain polyphenols from a range of plant foods, including fruits, vegetables, tea and coffee.
- Meanwhile, you can consume protein-rich foods like nuts, seeds, meat, fish, eggs and more to obtain amino acids.
- These two compounds also benefit skin, sleep, mood, exercise performance, muscle mass, weight loss, blood sugar, blood clotting, heart health and more.