What to eat in April? Focus on Plant Polyphenols
We often talk of antioxidants. Perhaps what we should be talking about is actually Polyphenols
. These plant-based compounds, including phenolenic acids, flavonoids and resveratrol, have been the focus of hundreds of clinical studies for their many, many benefits on the human body and brain. Polyphenols will help clear oxidative stress from the brain and body (hence the term antioxidant
), they will improve our cardiovascular health, and generally improve our expected lifespan.
Why focus on Polyphenols in April?
Spring in the UK welcomes a wave of locally produced plants bursting with these life-enhancing chemicals. Now's the time to make the most of it.
Here are three areas to focus on this month to significantly boost your intake of polyphenols.
1. Herbs and Microgreens
This is where our beautiful homeland really delivers. With no other change to your diet, topping your meals with freshly cropped, locally sourced herbs and microgreens (as local as your windowsill herb tray, perhaps?) could be the most important single step you can take towards a healthier, longer life. A few things to look out for, in season right now in April:
- Wild nettle
- Wild garlic
- Spring onions
- Spearmint (year round, indoors)
As a general rule of thumb: microgreens + strong flavour = high polyphenol.
2. Spices and Chilies
Like it hot? Good. Curry, turmeric, cloves, star anise, celery seeds, oregano (even dried), rosemary and thyme will all pack a punch of flavour while delivering heavy doses of antioxidant polyphenols. Go big on flavour, go big on life!
3. Coffee and Cacao
This section should make you happy. High quality dark chocolate, raw cacao, and even coffee and black/green tea are all excellent sources of polyphenols. Need we say more?
Bring it together: 3 easy recipes to boost polyphenols this April
Wild Garlic Pesto
Planning a countryside walk? Chances are you’ll walk right past patches of nutrient-dense wild garlic. Don’t miss out! Bring a large bunch home with you, blend it with a handful of almonds, a generous gulp of olive oil (also high in polyphenols), a good squeeze of lemon and some rock salt. Serve simply over buckwheat pasta for a quick week time dinner.
Since we’ve already agreed you’re planning a weekend walk, why stop at wild garlic? Strap on a pair of gloves and bag yourself a free dinner with some stinging nettle. Easy and tasty, your energy levels will thank you.
Cold Brew Cacao Protein Shake
You’ll just have to trust us here. Next time you find yourself with a cup of leftover filter coffee, or a bottle of store-bought cold brew hanging around (does that ever happen?), shake this up with some Creamy Cacao Whey Protein
. Coffee and chocolate lovers rejoice, the flavour will blow your mind. Plus, aside from a great source of protein and mood-boosting caffeine, you’ll bump up your polyphenols for the day.