Flavonoids (also commonly known as bioflavonoids) are the part of the plant or fruit that give it its bright color and medicinally used to be known as Vitamin P.
They are beneficial for many systems in the body and can be eaten regularly as they are common in foods such as berries, citrus, teas, chocolate and wine -- in moderation of course!
How do they improve our health?
1. Research shows that the regular consumption of citrus lowers the risk of ischemic stroke in women by 19 percent.
2. It has been suggested that eating two to three cups of berries per week may protect against Parkinson’s disease in men.
3. Flavonoids have been shown to be protective against cardiovascular disease, lower blood pressure and improve endothelial function.
4. There is evidence that a diet rich in flavonoids may reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and eating berries (in general) may help women with cognitive decline.
5. Green tea has been shown in research to have anti-cancer properties.
6. Green tea also has anti-inflammatory properties which may make it helpful for arthritis or general inflammation.
7. Quercetin is beneficial both for allegies and arthritis because of its anti-inflammatory abilities.
8. Flavonoids such as lutein and zeaxanthin might improve age-related macular degeneration and macular function for eye health.
9. Dark chocolate may improve diabetes, blood sugar and insulin problems according to research due to its flavonoid content. Unfortunately, about one square is all it took, so you will have to practice the power of moderation.
10. Wine does have flavonoids in it and has been shown to be cardiovascular-protective can still increase the risk of breast cancer -- so please drink responsibly.
When eating your flavonoids, go for the brightly colored fruits and vegetables such as berries, citrus, carrots, sweet potatoes, peppers, and top it off with a smidge of dark chocolate as dessert. Be aware of your wine intake and drink green tea on a regular basis.
1. Flavanones in Citrus Fruit May Lower Stroke Risk. Web. 2 May, 2012.
2. Diet Rich in Flavonoids May Guard Against Parkinson's Disease. 2 May, 2012.
3. Polyphenols-containing Foods and Cardiovascular Health: Polyphenols and Cardiovascular Protection. Web. 2 May, 2012.
4. Diet and Alzheimer's Disease Risk Factors or Prevention: Dietary Macronutrients & AD. Web. 2 May, 2012.
5. Eating Berries Linked to Delay in Cognitive Decline. Web. 2 May, 2012.
6. Molecular Targets of Phytochemicals for Cancer Prevention: Phytochemical-derived Anticancer Drugs. Web. 2 May, 2012.
7. Molecular Targets of Natural Health Products in Arthritis. Web. 2 May, 2012.
8. ARVO 2009: Lutein, Zeaxanthin Supplements May Result in Better Macular Function in Early AMD. Web. 2 May, 2012.
9. Health Benefits of Chocolate Growing. Web. 2 May, 2012.
10. Wine Won't Cut Breast Cancer Risk. Web. 2 May, 2012.
Reviewed May 2, 2012
by MIchele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith