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Our Functional Medicine Toronto Practice Features Polyphenol Types


Functional medicine Toronto patients usually discover that a poor diet may cause sleep issues and hinder cellular health. But polyphenols and healthy lifestyle changes can heighten your wellness and long-term health.

As we explained in “What is Polyphenols?”, anti-inflammatory functions and antioxidant properties are contained in these plant-based molecules. In fact, these properties can also assist with averting chronic conditions and cancers. 

So, what else should we know about polyphenols? And where can we find them? Here, we briefly highlight some polyphenol benefits; then, we uncover the different types, and how to reach us for clinical nutrition and functional medicine advice. 

“Research and clinical studies suggest that dietary polyphenolic compounds are linked to the maintenance of human health and prevention of diseases.”

-Frontiers in Pharmacology

Flash Facts 

  • Consider adding polyphenols to your personal treatment plan. This is because, “It has been found that polyphenols can actually function as a co-antioxidant, and are involved in the regeneration of essential vitamins,” confirms an article from Nutrients.  
  • These plant compounds could be thought of as anti-aging tools. Polyphenols have the ability to combat free radicals, which are detrimental molecules that can trigger dark spots and wrinkles.   
  • As reported by a Sports Medicine article, “there is a rationale for supplementation with fruit-derived polyphenols both to enhance exercise performance … and to enhance recovery from muscle damage induced by intensive exercise …” Studies have shown that taking polyphenols three days before and three days after heavy physical exertion may be linked to reduced muscle damage.
  • Do you want to recharge your gut health? Polyphenols play a role in promoting a healthy microbiome. In order for the “good” bacteria to thrive in the microbiome, they rely on these plant compounds for support.

Types of Polyphenols

Polyphenols are a category of plant compounds. Under this category, there are over 8,000 different types that we currently know about! We can’t list them all, but there are a wide variety of common polyphenols. Some of them are emphasized in the table below:

Six flavonoid subtypes exist; some of these have different effects on the body, such as regulating cellular function or reducing blood pressure levels. Red wine, onions, berries, broccoli, tomatoes, peaches
Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG)

Also called catechins, EGCGs may provide benefits to heart and brain health; could also encourage weight loss and lessen inflammation.

Green tea, black tea, cranberries, avocados, pistachios, hazelnuts, legumes, dark chocolate

Might help with lowering blood pressure and decreasing “bad” cholesterol; could offer neuroprotection.

Red wine, grapes, extracts from the root of Polygonum cuspidatum, and Japanese knotweed


Its anti-inflammatory properties may be considered for promoting allergy relief; might offer improvement to endurance for physical activities.

Bell peppers, capers, apples, tea, buckwheat, citrus, apples, onions, parsley, sage

Has been researched for decreasing the risks of heart disease and menopausal symptoms.

Seeds (flax and sesame), whole grains (rye, oat, barley), bran (wheat, oat, rye), fruit (berries in particular), some legumes including soy and beans


Shows promise for relieving some symptoms of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis; take note, it might interact with NSAIDS, blood thinners and statins.

Turmeric, curry powder
This bitter compound is also called tannic acid; different teas contain different amounts of tannins; could help manage cholesterol levels and strengthen immune function.

Red raspberry, Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (Bearberry), Camellia, green and black tea, pomegranates, and cinnamon


Known as flavonoids, they “…possess antidiabetic, anticancer, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and anti-obesity effects…” reported a Food & Nutrition Research article.

Açai, blackcurrant, purple corn, blueberries, red cabbage, eggplant, red and black grapes

Clearly, polyphenols can lend a hand to your well-being, especially when combined with healthy lifestyle modifications (i.e. exercise). So how do we include them in our daily lives? A functional medicine practitioner can help, especially if you struggle with food allergies or sensitivities. You may be instructed to eat a wide range of fresh foods or remove processed foods from your diet. If they see fit, your functional medicine provider may recommend polyphenol supplements. 

Do you need insight on your chronic symptoms? Or do you require feedback on your health goals? Our clinical therapies can customize your comprehensive treatment plan today.

Custom health care at the Toronto Functional Medicine Centre

Everyone’s wellness is distinct – we recognize that your symptoms may manifest differently from others. We are proud to offer our patients a personalized approach to wellness! By understanding your biology, genetics, lifestyle factors and environmental factors, our goal is to understand the root cause of your health concerns. In turn, this may help manage individual symptoms, while helping to prevent chronic conditions.

Functional medicine testing is available to verify nutritional deficiencies, hormone imbalances, and more. Custom health care may be imperative for addressing your current symptoms; we can address numerous health issues, such as acid reflux, declining brain health, body aches, celiac disease, sleep issues, PMS, infertility, migraines, and more. 

After lab tests have confirmed your health status, a comprehensive treatment plan may be created. This may include a wide range of treatments gathered from conventional medicine, herbal medicine, holistic medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine, naturopathic medicine, IV vitamin therapy, or other modalities. 

What are you waiting for? Let’s refresh your zest for life! Functional medicine from our Toronto clinic could offer you new strategies for optimal function. Click here to request your first session with us.

Disclaimer: The information in this article is designed for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. This information should not be used to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting a doctor. Consult with a health care practitioner before relying on any information in this article or on this website.


Bowtell J, Kelly V. Fruit-Derived Polyphenol Supplementation for Athlete Recovery and Performance. Sports Med. 2019 Feb;49(Suppl 1):3-23. doi: 10.1007/s40279-018-0998-x. PMID: 30671906; PMCID: PMC6445811.

Cardona F, Andrés-Lacueva C, Tulipani S, Tinahones FJ, Queipo-Ortuño MI. Benefits of polyphenols on gut microbiota and implications in human health. J Nutr Biochem. 2013 Aug;24(8):1415-22. doi: 10.1016/j.jnutbio.2013.05.001. PMID: 23849454.

Chung KT, Wong TY, Wei CI, Huang YW, Lin Y. Tannins and human health: a review. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 1998 Aug;38(6):421-64. doi: 10.1080/10408699891274273. PMID: 9759559.

Flower, Gillian et al. “Flax and Breast Cancer: A Systematic Review.” Integrative Cancer Therapies 13, 3 (2014): 181-92. doi:10.1177/1534735413502076.

Khoo HE, Azlan A, Tang ST, Lim SM. Anthocyanidins and anthocyanins: colored pigments as food, pharmaceutical ingredients, and the potential health benefits. Food Nutr Res. 2017 Aug 13;61(1):1361779. doi: 10.1080/16546628.2017.1361779. PMID: 28970777; PMCID: PMC5613902.

Kressler J, Millard-Stafford M, Warren GL. Quercetin and endurance exercise capacity: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2011 Dec;43(12):2396-404. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e31822495a7. Erratum in: Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2012 Mar;44(3):558-9. PMID: 21606866.

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Phytoestrogens” from Breast Cancer Prevention Partners, viewed on January 26, 2023. 

Poljšak B, Dahmane R. Free radicals and extrinsic skin aging. Dermatol Res Pract. 2012;2012:135206. doi: 10.1155/2012/135206. Epub 2012 Feb 29. PMID: 22505880; PMCID: PMC3299230.

Rodríguez-García C, Sánchez-Quesada C, Toledo E, Delgado-Rodríguez M, Gaforio JJ. Naturally Lignan-Rich Foods: A Dietary Tool for Health Promotion? Molecules. 2019 Mar 6;24(5):917. doi: 10.3390/molecules24050917. PMID: 30845651; PMCID: PMC6429205.

Rudrapal M, Khairnar SJ, Khan J, Dukhyil AB, Ansari MA, Alomary MN, Alshabrmi FM, Palai S, Deb PK, Devi R. Dietary Polyphenols and Their Role in Oxidative Stress-Induced Human Diseases: Insights Into Protective Effects, Antioxidant Potentials and Mechanism(s) of Action. Front Pharmacol. 2022 Feb 14;13:806470. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2022.806470. PMID: 35237163; PMCID: PMC8882865.

Tsao R. Chemistry and biochemistry of dietary polyphenols. Nutrients. 2010 Dec;2(12):1231-46. doi: 10.3390/nu2121231. Epub 2010 Dec 10. PMID: 22254006; PMCID: PMC3257627.

“What are Polyphenols? Another Great Reason to Eat Fruits and Veggies” from Colorado State University, by Emily Nock, posted June 2021, viewed on January 26, 2023. 

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