Flavonoids are a diverse group of plant compounds that deliver a ton of healing health benefits, found naturally in a spectrum of fruits and vegetables. Plant products like wine, tea and chocolate are also good sources of flavonoids. There are six different types of flavonoids and each type is metabolised in the system in a different way. Flavonoids are heaped with strong antioxidant properties that play a significant role in warding off detrimental toxins and combat oxidative stress. Adding foods rich in flavonoids is a great way to promote overall health and potentially lower the risk of diabetes, cancers, cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases.
Types of Flavonoids
Flavonoids are the largest group of phytonutrients, with more than 600 types out of which six are main types, each one exhibiting specific health benefitting properties. Phytonutrients such as flavonoids are heaped with beneficial anti-inflammatory traits which safeguard healthy cells from oxidative damage that can lead to the development of several chronic diseases. The six main types of flavonoids include:
These comprise luteolin and apigenin found abundantly in celery, parsley, several herbs and pepper. Flavones are valuable in uplifting overall health and delaying the metabolizing process and action of certain medicines.
These include malvidin, pelargondin, peoidin and cyaniding. Some of the food sources rich in anthocyanidins include red, purple and blueberries, pomegranates, plums, red wine and grapes. Anthocyanidins are well-known to exhibit potent antioxidant effects, promote cardiac wellness, support weight loss and prevent diabetes.
Flavanones consist of hesperidin, eriodictyol and naringenin, these are found immensely in citrus fruits. They are valuable in promoting cardiovascular health, soothe the nervous system and possesses potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities.
This includes genistein, glycitein and daidzein that are largely found in soybeans, soy products and other legumes. Isoflavones are best known to lower the risk of breast, endometrial and prostate cancers and regulate the menstrual cycle.
Flavonols are widely distributed subgroup of flavonoids that includes quercetin and kaempferol. Onions, leeks, Brussels sprouts, kale, broccoli, tea, berries, beans and apples are food sources rich in flavonoids. Quercetin is an antihistamine that aids to ease hay fever and hives, while kaempfereol and other flavonols exhibit strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activities that averts the risk of chronic diseases.
There are three main types of flavonols such as monomers, dimers and polymers. Flavanols are widely found in teas, cocoa, grapes, apples, berries and red wine. Flavanols work well in diminishing cholesterol, combats chronic fatigue syndrome and boost neurological health.
Potential Health Benefits Of Flavonoids
Prevents Neurodegenerative disease
The remarkable anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects of flavonoids may support to protect against neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. In elderly people adding flavonoid rich foods may increase blood flow to the brain, improve cognitive function, boost memory and significantly reduce the risk of age-related cognitive disorders.
Spices are blessed with a treasure trove of nutrients such as flavonoids and other bioactive compounds that exhibits incredible power in controlling blood glucose levels. A good lot of spice mix such as rosemary, garlic, ginger, pepper and oregano are laden with flavonoid compounds which regulate blood sugar spikes and maintain overall health and well-being.
Several pieces of evidence have strongly proven that a diet rich in flavonoids are known to lower the risk of several cancers including breast, prostate and colorectal cancer owing to the antioxidant activity. Adding a rich array of colourful fruits and vegetable in your daily diet regimen is the best possible way to safeguard the body from detrimental free radicals, avert oxidative stress and prevent the formation of tumour cells.
The potent anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties of flavonoids have shown to lessen the cellular response to pain. Flavonoids are used medicinally to manage chronic pain and treat inflammatory diseases like arthritis, rheumatoid and irritable bowel syndrome.
Flavonoids work amazingly well to reduce inflammation and shed excess fat. Strong antioxidant activity of flavonoids helps to ease inflammation and lowers the level of the appetite-suppressing hormone leptin. Try incorporating a colourful range of fruits and vegetables imbued with flavonoids to curb unwanted hunger pangs, increase the feeling of fullness and lose weight.
Food Sources Rich In Flavonoids
Blueberry, blackberry, strawberries and cherries are loaded with all six types of flavonoid compounds, which are beneficial in safeguarding the body from oxidative stress.
Onion is a staple vegetable across the world that renders a powerful flavour and a host of health benefits. Packed with flavonoids onions lowers the risk of cancer.
One of the most comforting and refreshing beverages on the planet. Having tea is the simplest way to boost your flavonoids levels in the diet. Green, oolong and black teas all of which are loaded with flavonoids that reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and promote cognitive health.
Citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, lemons, and limes contain flavonoids. These fruits are best known to bolster the immune system and keep you disease-free.
Beans such as soybeans and kidney beans are packed with isoflavones. Having edamame, tofu, tempeh and soy-based products are a great way to increase flavonoid content in the diet. Isoflavones hold a key role in reducing the risk of breast, ovarian, prostate and testicular cancers.