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What Are Flavonoids?

May 9, 2022

Flavonoids are a group of plant-based compounds that are found in fruits, vegetables, and herbs. They have powerful antioxidant activity and benefits. Some flavonoids protect the plats from environmental stress such as lack of water or poor soil, and some help plants from physical stress such as insects or wind damage. Some of the flavonoids give the plants color or compounds to stimulate cell growth while others help to attract pollinators. 

There are 6 main types of flavonoids:

  1. Flavonols: these are the largest group which is known for their antioxidant properties. They are present in leaves, flowers, and fruits of different plants. 
  2. Flavan-3-ols: they are also referred to as catechins and are known to be nutrient-rich. They are found in all types of tea and many fruits.
  3. Flavones: these act as pigments in plants with flowers. They also protect the plants from UV rays and insect damage.
  4. Flavanones: these are found in citrus fruits. They add bitterness to the fruits and are known for their inflammatory properties.
  5. Isoflavones: they are also known as isoflavonoids and are found in soy and legumes. They help with hormone balance.
  6. Anthocyanins: these are natural pigments in red, purple, and blue fruits, and are found in outer cell layers.

Health benefits of Flavonoids

Antioxidant Power: nearly every type of flavonoid acts as an antioxidant and protects the human body from free radicals. Free radicals are highly reactive molecules that destroy cells in the body and cause oxidative stress which leads to disease. Therefore, flavonoids neutralize free radicals and help protect cellular function. 

Combats Chronic Inflammation: by decreasing oxidative stress, flavonoids combat inflammation at cellular level. Their anti-inflammatory effect help manage chronic pain.

Good for Blood Pressure and Heart Health: according to research, inflammation is a risk factor as high blood pressure or cholesterol. Flavonoids has the ability to reduce and avoid inflammation; therefore, consuming plants is linked to a healthy heart. In addition, flavonoids also help with maintaining a healthy blood pressure level. 

May Help Protect You from Diabetes: eating foods that are rich in flavonoids combined with exercise and avoiding processed foods can lower the risk of developing diabetes. 

Anticancer Activity: many studies have shown that flavonoids have the ability to stop cancer cells from multiplying. There is a correlation between high consumption of flavonoids and a reduced risk of cancer. 

Anti-Allergy Properties: quercetin (a specific flavonoid) is known to have a natural anti-histamine effect to fight off seasonal allergies. Allergy medicines make use of anti-histamines to stop the release of histamines that are responsible for symptoms of an allergic reaction. 

Antiviral Action: studies suggest that flavonoids can stop the replication of viruses like enterovirus, H1N1, SARS, and HIV. 

Protective of Brain Function: flavonoids can suppress neuroinflammation and protest neurons against injury from toxins. They also help brain from aging and disease and reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s or dementia. 

Anti-Aging Boost for Skin: flavonoids have photoprotective properties that help protect skin form UV damage which can cause premature wrinkles, age spots, uneven skin tone, and helps to keep skin looking younger and healthier.

Best Flavonoid Food Sources: berries, raw cacao, tea, red cabbage, citrus fruits, onions, kale, fresh parsley, non-GMO soy, and celery.

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