Nature’s Little Soldiers!
Flavonoids are antioxidants present mostly in plant-based foods and are beneficial to the body. They have strong antiviral, anti-allergy, anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor properties.
Spinach, broccoli, red onions, most red and green vegetables, dried beans, soya beans, and soy products, nuts, seeds and herbs like oregano, parsley, mint, and thyme are all examples of foods containing flavonoids and antioxidants.
Other examples of antioxidants are the fruits rich in Vitamin C like oranges and lemons. Berries such as strawberries, blueberries raspberries are loaded with antioxidants.
With our current lifestyles, processed foods, canned and store-bought foods and polluted environment, our bodies are exposed to a lot of free radicals (oxidative stress). Antioxidant plays a major role in counteracting these effects.
In recent years, scientists have tried to explain some of the health benefits related to diets rich in fruits and vegetables. Diets rich in flavonoids are sometimes associated with cancer, neurodegenerative and cardiovascular disease prevention. Let’s have a rather detailed overview of these benefits.
Benefits of Flavonoids
Longevity: Flavonoid consumption is found to be significantly related to longevity. The researchers suggested flavonoid consumption could account for 25 percent of the observed difference in mortality rates from coronary heart disease and cancer.
Weight Management: Flavonoids are also associated with inflammation and weight loss. Flavonoid content can relieve inflammation and decrease the levels of an appetite-suppressing hormone, leptin.
Cardiovascular Disease: Because of their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory behaviors, flavonoids may lower the risk of atherosclerosis by protecting LDL cholesterol from free radical damage. They may also improve the quality of blood vessel walls.
Diabetes: Among men with type 2 diabetes, adding a flavonoid-rich spice mix to hamburger meat significantly improved their vascular function during subsequent hours.
Cancer Prevention: The research in this area has produced mixed results. Animal studies have shown positive results when it comes to lung, mouth, stomach, colon, skin and other cancers, but human studies have yet to show consistently similar results. More research is needed.
Neurodegenerative Disease Prevention: Flavonoids’ anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects may help protect against neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Flavonoids may also increase blood flow to the brain, improving cognitive function.