Flavanoids: What are Flavanoids and Are They Healthy?

What are Flavanoids?

Flavanoids are various compounds found natural in fruits, vegetables, teas and tisanes. There are actually 6 different types of flavonoids, categorized by how they are broken down by your body. 

 

Different types of Flavanoids:

Flavanols

These flavonoids are high in antioxidant activity, helping you manage cellular damage and chronic illness. These are present in foods like onions, kale, grapes and wine, tea, peaches, berries, tomatoes, lettuce, scallions and broccoli.

Flavan-3-ols

This group of flavonoids is quite rich in nutrients and are primarily found in tea but they can also be found in apples, grapes, blueberries, strawberries and cocoa.

Flavones

Flavones act as a natural pesticide, helping to protect the plant from insects. They can be found naturally in white and blue flowering plants like chamomile, peppermint, parsley, red peppers and celery. Flavones are effective when it comes to fighting inflammation in the body.

Flavanones

Flavanones are also known for their anti-inflammatory properties and they may even be able to help you manage your weight and cholesterol. These are found naturally in citrus fruits like lemons, limes, oranges and grapefruits.

Isoflavones

These help regulate the hormones in your body. While they are mainly found in soy products, they can also be found in legumes like fava beans.

Anthocyanins

These are the red, blue or purple pigments that give color to blueberries, strawberries, cranberries, blackberries and grapes.

 

Why are Flavanoids Good for You?

Flavanoids act as antioxidants, fighting against free radical damage. They can help your body function more efficiently, while protecting it against damage from aging overtime. Flavanoids also have another helpful function and that is managing your body’s immune response. When your body is introduced to foreign pathogens, it reacts with an immune response. While this can be a positive thing when it comes to fending off disease, it is possible for your immune system to become to active, leading to detrimental effects. An example of this is allergies during the spring time. Flavanoids can help to calm down this immune response, creating less inflammation throughout your body. 

Different types of flavonoids can have different positive effects on the body. At least 5 different flavonoids have been demonstrated to lower high blood pressure, an affliction affecting millions worldwide. The flavonoids found in tea can help reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke according to a study published in the Journal of Translational Medicine. According to a meta analysis done in 2018, the consumption of Flavanoids was also correlated to a reduction in type 2 diabetes. Although further research is needed, some studies have pointed to flavonoids being effective at preventing cancer cells from multiplying. While we may not yet know enough to start taking flavonoids as medicine, there are not downsides to consuming more flavonoid rich fruits and vegetables. There are also some great herbal teas that are high in flavonoids such as chamomile, peppermint and parsley. If you would like to experience all the benefits that flavonoids have to offer, try incorporating more of these foods into your diet.

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