Q. Dear Terry, “I’m on a strict ketogenic diet right now with very limited carbohydrate intake due to some chronic health issues. I have been feeling a little bit better each day. My primary concern is I’m not able to eat certain fruits and vegetables while I’m on the ketogenic diet. I know fruits and vegetables are healthy and I don’t want to miss out on any nutrients. Since you’re a big fan of the ketogenic diet, what do you suggest?”– Mai W., San Mateo, CA
A. Dear Mai, The ketogenic diet is one of my favorite tools for helping with chronic diseases. While the ketogenic diet is incredibly healthy for many people, it can be difficult to “eat the rainbow” if you’re consuming very limited carbohydrates. It’s well known that fruits and vegetables contain many beneficial compounds, including polyphenols. The name “polyphenols” is a broad term for many different healthy compounds. They are the natural compounds that give fruits, vegetables, rhizomes, roots, and flowering herbs their color and protect them from bacteria, insect damage, oxidative stress, and other threats.
In human diets, polyphenols act as anti-inflammatories, immune-boosters, and DNA-protectors – just to name a few of their attributes.
Ideally, our diets would include a lot of polyphenols with every meal, but that is not always possible. Experts estimate that we need at least 1,000 mg of polyphenols in our diets each day for optimal wellness. That’s why I think a supplemental regimen that includes consistent levels of standardized polyphenols is an excellent way to fill in any gaps that may be left behind by less-than-perfect diets.
A few of my favorite sources of polyphenols include: curcumin (from turmeric), oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPCs from French grape seed), propolis, apples, and green tea. These ingredients have wide-ranging health benefits for osteoarthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, depression, heart disease, infection, weight management, cholesterol balance, and many others.
In my opinion, polyphenols are one of the best nutrients for preventing or treating a variety of health concerns. I would take 400 mg of standardized polyphenols daily.
Terry . . . Naturally