Scientists have uncovered even more reasons why fruit is good for you.
An international team of scientists studying the polyphenol content of fruits found that it is up to five times higher than previously thought. Polyphenols are chemical substances in many fruits and vegetables that have been shown to have beneficial antioxidant properties.
Previously, polyphenol content in fruit referred to the “extractable” polyphenols, but researchers from the Institute of Food Research in Norwich in the UK found large amounts of non-extractable types of the chemicals in a study of apples, nectarines, and pears.
Non-extractable polyphenols are not usually considered in nutritional studies because they escape analysis and remain in the residue from extraction. However, they are a major part of bioactive compounds in the diet and could have significant antioxidant benefits, the researchers said.
“These polyphenols are major constituents of the human diet with important health properties. To consider them in nutritional and epidemiological research may be useful for a better understanding of the effects of plant foods in health,” said lead researcher Professor Fulgencio Saura-Calixto in a news release.
Berries, grapes, apples, oranges, bananas, walnuts, oats and green and black tea are all well-established sources of polyphenols.
The study was published July 28 in Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.