10 Foods And Drinks That Are Rich in Polyphenols

Updated on  February 7, 2023

Riddhi Rayekar ‧ Nutritionist & Health Coach

Riddhi is a certified nutritionist with more than a decade of experience of changing people's lives with nutrition and diet. She love to help people with clients to achieve their personal goals. 

Including polyphenols in your diet plan is a good approach to getting the benefits that come with the micronutrients embedded in the compound. The most popular sources of polyphenols include; fruit, vegetable, wine, cocoa, nuts, supplements containing polyphenols and beans.

Polyphenols are high in antioxidants, they’re capable of protecting your body against the effects of oxidative stress, which amidst other things are responsible for wrinkle skin and general aging. They have also been shown to help in reducing blood pressure, blood glucose sugar as well as reducing the possibilities of having cancer. Like several other discoveries, the possibilities are always numerous, but one of the widely studied benefits is its antioxidant properties.

Polyphenols Food List

When planning your diet, including some of the other listed food will go a long way in boosting your intake of polyphenols.

1. Chicory


This vegetable plant is very popular in Europe, and is considered an alternative to coffee. With numerous benefits such as; detoxification of the liver, treatment of arthritis pains, as well as improving body’s immune function. They’re also called endive. 

It has been shown to contain a considerable amount of plant polyphenols, and as such, it is regarded as an antioxidant with the benefit of improving the body’s plasma level. [1]

Here are some of the ways to use chicory in food preparation.

2. Spinach


This is a more popular option in America. Widely known for their anti-inflammatory properties, they’re also rich in plant polyphenols and are capable of slowing down the aging process. Generally rich in Vitamin A, K and Vitamin E. [2] Some awesome spinach recipes are discussed in this article.

3. Cloves


Cloves are not “food” per se, but generally used as spices in food. They’re commonly used in gingerbread and several other dishes of Indian origin. 

Rich in Vitamin K and C. They’ve been associated with medical benefits such as boosting the immune system, aiding blood clotting and improving brain function. They contain eugenol, a special naturally occurring antioxidant known for getting rid of free radicals. It has also been linked to liver health and cancer prevention. [3]

4. Dark Chocolate

Dark Chocolate

For most people, it’s hard to believe that chocolate of any type could have health benefits. [4]

This is a very wrong notion, as dark chocolate, for example, has numerous scientifically proven benefits to human health. It’s composed of high percentage of raw cocoa and butter, usually with no dairy component. This composition is responsible for its high antioxidant properties.

Next time when you need to snack on something sweet; dark chocolate should be your first choice.

5. Black and Green Tea

Black and Green Tea

Tea drinking culture in America is gradually growing, even though it is very low as compared to that of Europe. But the health benefit of tea; both green and black tea cannot be overemphasized.

They’re loaded with plant polyphenols that have been scientifically shown to have hundreds of health benefits. [5] They’re particularly noted for protecting the brain cells from oxidative stress, as well as improving the heart health. Elderly berry tea is also of great health benefit. 

6. Coffee


Arguably the most consumed beverage in America. Coffee is a great source of antioxidant, and they come handy when you need to protect your cells from the effect of oxidative stress associated with day to day activities.

They’re rich in plant polyphenols with health benefits such as improved heart health, slow down aging process amidst several other benefits. [6]

7. Almond


Almonds are popular for lowering blood sugar levels, greatly reduce blood pressure and improved cardiovascular health. [7]

They’re reputable for containing a significant amount of Vitamin E, magnesium and protein. If you’re interested in reducing your cholesterol level while getting the benefits of polyphenols in the food component, then trying out almonds based recipes is a good idea.

8. Blueberries


Blueberries are popular for their heart health benefits. It’s majorly composed of vitamins such as K, C, B6, folate, and fibers. [8]

It’s a good source of antioxidant which is the main role of polyphenols in the body. They contain a special type of antioxidant called anthocyanin; responsible for their blue coloration.

Aside from being improving the heart health, they’re also associated with improved bone health as well as cancer prevention.

9. Chestnut Seeds

Chestnut Seeds

If you’ve eaten a chestnut bread in the past, then you’ve tasted chestnut seed. They’re known for two major benefits; boosting the immune system as well as strengthening the bone. [9]

Containing copper as the main component, they’re also known to improve heart health. Here are some delicious chestnut recipes to get you started.

10. Wine


Drink wine! They’re healthy. That probably sounds like a bad advice from a quack doctor, but it isn’t. Wine is a healthy choice of drink; rich in plant-based polyphenols. They’re associated with improved heart health. [10]


1. Ifeoma Chinyelu Nwafor, Karabo Shale, Matthew Chilaka Achilonu, Chemical Composition and Nutritive Benefits of Chicory (Cichorium intybus) as an Ideal Complementary and/or Alternative Livestock Feed Supplement, retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5745685/
2. Kris Gunnars, BSc, Spinach 101: Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits, retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/foods/spinach
3. Rachael Link, MS, RD, Atli Arnarson BSc, PhD, 8 Surprising Health Benefits of Cloves, retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/benefits-of-cloves
4. Thea Magrone, Matteo Antonio Russo, Emilio Jirillo, Cocoa and Dark Chocolate Polyphenols: From Biology to Clinical Applications, retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5465250/
5. Naghma Khan, Hasan Mukhtar, Tea polyphenols for health promotion, retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3220617/
6. Kazuo Yamagata, Do Coffee Polyphenols Have a Preventive Action on Metabolic Syndrome Associated Endothelial Dysfunctions? An Assessment of the Current Evidence, retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5836016/
7. Bradley W. Bolling, Almond Polyphenols: Methods of Analysis, Contribution to Food Quality, and Health Promotion, retrieved from https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/1541-4337.12260
8. Anna Michalska, Grzegorz Łysiak, Bioactive Compounds of Blueberries: Post-Harvest Factors Influencing the Nutritional Value of Products, retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4581264/
9. Takahiro Tsujita, Misato Yamada, Takeshi Takaku, Tomoyoshi Shintani, Kanae Teramoto, Takafumi Sato, Purification and characterization of polyphenols from chestnut astringent skin, retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21777007/
10. Alfredo C. Cordova, MD, Bauer E. Sumpio, MD PhD FICA, Polyphenols are medicine: Is it time to prescribe red wine for our patients?, retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2903024

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