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High intake of polyphenols can prevent severe Covid-19: Get the micronutrients from these foods

Study says a high intake of polyphenols can help reduce inflammation and prevent Covid-19 progression. Boost your polyphenol intake with these foods to fight Covid-19.

Written by Longjam Dineshwori | Updated : February 23, 2021 12:11 PM IST

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Foods Rich In Polyphenols

Eating more dark chocolate and other foods rich in polyphenols may protect you from severe Covid-19 infection. According to a new study, a high intake of polyphenols can help reduce inflammation and prevent Covid-19 progression in patients infected with the virus. This potential health benefit of polyphenols has also been found in previous studies. Apart from reducing chronic inflammation, polyphenols can also help manage blood sugar and blood pressure levels as well as keep the blood vessels healthy and flexible. Packed with antioxidants, polyphenols can also help treat digestion issues, diabetes, neurodegenerative disease, and cardiovascular diseases. The new study, published in the journal Integrative Physiology, revealed that polyphenols can help reduce inflammation by blocking the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and modifying the ACE-1/ACE-2 ratio. Cytokines are proteins that help the immune system fight infections, but too many cytokines or cytokine overproduction can cause inflammation in the body and lead to severe symptoms of various diseases, including Covid-19. Presence of cytokine storm has been linked to increased fatality rate in critically ill Covid-19 patients. If this hypothesis is proven in other studies too, increasing the intake of polyphenols may help reduce suffering and mortality imposed by SARS-CoV-2 infection, the authors noted in the study.

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Cloves Top The List

A 2010 study listed cloves as the richest food in polyphenols. 100 g of cloves contains a total of 15,188 mg polyphenols. Two more seasonings made it to the top three spots. While dried peppermint was ranked second with 11,960 mg polyphenols per 100 g, star anise secured the third spot with 5,460 mg per 100 g.  Also Read - Functional Training Is Bringing A Revolution In Fitness Industry

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Dark Chocolate

Dark Chocolate

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Berries Are Fruits With Highest Polyphenol Content

Berries are another rich source of polyphenols. With more than 1,700 mg polyphenols per 100 g, Black chokeberry has the most polyphenols of all berries. Other types of berries that are rich in polyphenols include - highbush blueberries (560 mg polyphenols); blackberries (260 mg polyphenols), strawberries (235 mg polyphenols); and red raspberries (215 mg polyphenols). Apart from berries, fruits like black currants, plums, sweet cherries, apples, and pomegranate also contain high numbers of these micronutrients.  Also Read - Hyaluronic Acid Benefits: Know Why Hyaluronic Is Essential For Your Skin, Watch Video

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Eat More Greens

Vegetables contain less polyphenols than fruit. Vegetables rich in polyphenols are artichokes, chicory, red onions, and spinach. You can also increase your polyphenol intake by eating more Black beans and white beans, nuts, and soy (in all its various forms and stages.

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Drinks To Boost Your Polyphenol Intake

Good news for tea lover! Both black and green tea contain decent amounts of polyphenols. A glass of red wine every night may also help improve your polyphenol count. 100 mL of red wine contains 101 mg polyphenols. You can also get polyphenol supplements, which come in powder and capsule forms. However, they may also carry several unwanted side effects. There is a strong scientific evidence that polyphenols can interfere with or limit iron absorption. This is mostly associated with taking polyphenol supplements.  Also Read - Wound Care Management: It’s More Than Just Dressing Change Or Bandaging