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Why Your Skin Loves Polyphenols (and Baobab)

Baobab tree with bright green leaves and brown pods hanging from branches.
BY DR. LUC MAES, N.D.

You may be familiar with polyphenols—they're the phytonutrients that color fruits and vegetables, including berries, grapes, green tea, coffee and cacao. Plants produce polyphenols as a defense against ultraviolet radiation and aggression of pathogens.

It's become increasingly known that polyphenols have some pretty exciting health benefits. A polyphenol-rich diet is inversely related to accelerated skin aging and the development of chronic disease, cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, and neurodegenerative disease.

What you may not already know is that the microbiota in your gut are responsible for transforming polyphenols into powerful metabolites. These metabolites provide numerous benefits throughout the body by reducing inflammation in blood vessels, protecting nerves, and preserving the integrity of collagen. Since prebiotic fiber and probiotics support a healthy gut microbiome, including them in your wellness routine can help your body receive the optimal benefits of a polyphenol-rich diet.

The baobab fruit, which grows in the hot, dry climate of the African Savanna, is uniquely rich in polyphenols. Research shows that the polyphenols in baobab are responsible for its low glycemic properties, which support a balanced metabolization of sugars. When sugar is not properly metabolized, it triggers a process called glycation which damages collagen. Collagen is an important protein for healthy, youthful-looking skin as well as structural integrity throughout the body.

Baobab is considered a superfood for many reasons, one of them being its high content of both prebiotic fiber and polyphenols. By incorporating baobab and other polyphenol-rich foods into your diet regularly, you are conditioning your gut, skin, and metabolism for optimal function and wellness.

Sources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3257627/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24176228/ 

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30779010/ 

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