Polyphenols and your gut

In our functional medicine practice gut health is a major presenting focus, as many patients suffer from bloating, gas, irregular bowel movements and pain.  Polyphenols can be one of the many important nutrients to help change the game in our gut and boost and fortify our gut lining and improve your microbiome. 

 Polyphenols are found in plants and concentrated in fruits, vegetables, coffee, cocoa, tea and wine.  These essential gut boosters mostly go straight to the colon and provide essential food for our good gut bacteria.  Wait, diid I just tell you to eat chocolate, drink coffee and sip on some red wine? Well, in moderation, there are benefits to each of these, to help boost good bacteria but don’t forget blueberries, the tannins in teas, strawberries, raspberries, prunes, asparagus and spinach- just to name a few.

Let’s dive deeper- what else do polyphenols do for our gut? They can reduce harmful bacteria in our gut as well.   Studies show these compounds can reduce staphylococcus, salmonella, clostridium difficile and and bacteroides.  They can also help repair a damaged intestinal lining, a common occurrence we find in our patients, often termed leaky gut.  

Bonus- some studies show polyphenols also have an inverse relationship to body weight.  This relationship has not been shown to exist between red wine and weight though, so don’t read this as the more red wine the lower your weight will be! But the richer your diet is in these prebiotic type nutrients, the healthier your gut can be.  We can also use concentrated prebiotic powders to help boost your intake while we are working on an intense gut health program, as we do quite often in our practice.  

Here’s to eating/drinking nutrients that help fight the good gut fight!