Polyphenols: components of fruit and vegetables with multiple health benefits

Infographic – Polyphenols : bioactive compounds from fruit and vegetables with numerous virtues

Polyphenols are naturally present in plant-based foods and contain a multitude of compounds with numerous health benefits. They are found in variable amounts in many foods such as fruits and vegetables, tea, coffee, wine, chocolate, etc. (Kumar et al, 2013). Several types of polyphenols have been identified in recent years each possessing a unique chemical structure and specific biological properties:

  • Flavonoids: an important class of polyphenols, including different subtypes such as (Panche et al., 2016) :

–> Flavones : the most well-studied is luteolin found mainly in celeri and brocoli ;
–> Flavonols: the most well-studied are quercetin and kaempherol found mainly in onions, kale, lettuce, tomatoes, apples, grapes and berries ;
–> Flavanones such as naringenin found in grapes ;
–> Anthocyanins – cyanindin and delphinidin being the most well-studies – found mainly in the external part of various fruits (e.g. cranberry, blackcurrant, raspberry, strawberry, etc.).

  • Stilbenoids: another important class, of which resveratrol is the most studied subclass.
  • Phenolic acids: including caffeic acid and rosmarinic acid, and tannins, found in tea and wine.
  • Ellagitannins: found in berries and nuts

Ongoing research on these substances confirms their promising health benefits (Di Salvo et al., 2023).