What are the best health benefits of flavonoids?
While many people are familiar with the health benefits of various vitamins and minerals, there are other compounds and nutrients found in food that play a vital role in metabolic processes that keep your body healthy. Flavonoids are one such compound. They are found in many different types of foods, though predominantly fruits and vegetables, and provide essential antioxidant benefits, help your body to mitigate the effects of toxins, and can help ward off chronic illnesses.
What are flavonoids?
The term refers to a group of compounds found naturally known as polyphenolic secondary metabolites, which means that when they are consumed, your body metabolizes them into other compounds that benefit your body.
Types of flavonoids
There are six types of flavonoids, each with its own benefits and sourced from different types of foods.
Flavonols provide antioxidant benefits to your body, fighting and warding off toxins that can cause health complications. They are found in foods including onions, berries, peaches, kale, grapes, tomatoes, broccoli, and tea.
Flavan-3-ols are nutrient-rich flavonoids that are found in different types of tea such as black tea, green tea, and oolong. If you’d like to learn more about brewing the best tea you can at home, check out the full tea infuser buying guide from Best Reviews. You can also source flavan-3-ols from red grapes, berries, and cocoa products such as chocolate.
Flavones are actually a type of pigment. In plants, their role is to operate as an organic pesticide by keeping leaves free from insects. It’s thought that flavonoids help to reduce inflammation in human tissue. Flavones can be found in celery, red peppers, peppermint, and chamomile.
This is another type of flavonoid that can help to reduce inflammation and it’s thought that this sub-type of flavonoid also provides cardiovascular benefits. You can find flavanones in citrus fruits such as limes, lemons, grapefruit, and oranges.
Mainly found in soy and soy-based products, isoflavones are thought to help with hormone regulation in the body. This means they can play a role in warding off and managing conditions related to hormone imbalances.
This type of flavonoid is also a kind of pigment. You’ll find anthocyanins in many different types of berries that have a red, blue, or purple color such as grapes, cranberries, strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries.
Why are flavonoids important?
Flavonoids mainly benefit the body by regulating the activity of your cells. They also help to eliminate free radicals in the body, which is their main antioxidative benefit. Flavonoids protect your cells from toxins and free radicals so they can perform more efficiently and, therefore, support the healthy function of your body.
One of the key benefits of this activity is helping your body to manage inflammation. Your body causes inflammation as a response to foreign bodies such as germs and toxins. While it’s a natural immune response, chronic inflammation as a result of this response can cause adverse side effects and chronic health conditions. So, flavonoids are a critical component of keeping your immune system and your overall body in peak condition.
What are the health benefits of flavonoids?
As the old saying goes, an apple per day keeps the doctor away. While we all know that fruits and vegetables are healthy, what most people don’t realize is that by consuming more flavonoids you could be giving yourself a serious health upgrade. This is because when you eat foods that contain flavonoids you’re not just eating foods that contain vitamins and minerals. You’re also getting the serious cardiovascular, cancer-preventing, and anti-inflammatory benefits contained in these foods.
Flavonoids typically protect plants against viruses, UV radiation, bacteria, and fungi. As with most nutrition-based health benefits, research into the true nature and effect of flavonoids in the human body is still ongoing. But several studies have shown a correlation between flavonoid consumption and numerous health benefits.
Improving your cardiovascular health
According to one study published by the National Institutes of Health, flavonoids can benefit your cardiovascular system in several ways.
Several different types of flavonoids have been shown to help manage chronic high blood pressure, actively working to lower the blood pressure in the body. They also lower your overall risk of many different types of cardiovascular events, such as heart attacks and strokes.
Lower your risk of diabetes
Chronic inflammation, even at a low level, has been shown to increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. That’s because nutrient excess of things like free fatty acids can cause oxidative stress on your cells, hampering their ability to regulate insulin.
Studies outlined in the review published by the NIH showed that flavonoids can act as a highly beneficial supplementary treatment for type 2 diabetes as they can regulate the metabolism of carbohydrates and lipids in the body, preventing irregular insulin production.
Potential cancer prevention effects
Another serious health condition that has been linked to chronic inflammation is cancer. Studies estimate that at least 20% of all cancers are rooted in long-term inflammation in the body. This includes cancers such as lung, bladder, prostate, pancreatic, esophageal cancer, and melanoma.
The antioxidant activity and inflammation-reducing benefits of flavonoids can help to reduce the risk of cancer development. Different types of flavonoids are adept at reducing the risk of different types of cancer. For example, flavonols are linked to reduced risk of prostate cancer while anthocyanins reduce the risk of lung cancer.
Manage chronic inflammation and pain
One study examined the effects of flavonoids on managing pain associated with chronic inflammation and nerve damage. It seems flavonoids can work to reduce the cellular response to pain and researchers believe that flavonoids could be used in pharmaceutical development to treat pain associated with chronic conditions.
Flavonoids act as natural pesticides, antibacterial and antifungal barriers in plants, so it’s no surprise that they may have a similar effect on the human body. Research suggests that flavonoids, particularly flavones, may have virus fighting capabilities in humans, helping to fight off common illnesses like the flu and respiratory infections.
What you need to buy for flavonoid health benefits
Solgar Citrus Bioflavonoid Complex
These flavonoid supplements are mainly sourced from citrus fruits to help fight free radicals and provide antioxidant effects in the body. They’re also chewable for easy daily consumption.
Sold by Amazon
NOW Supplements Super Antioxidants
This supplement provides a broad spectrum of flavonoids to cover a wide range of flavonoid health benefits. The flavonoids are mainly sourced from ingredients such as tea, milk thistle, cranberry, and grape seed extract.
Lipo-Flavonoid Plus Ear Health Supplement
Designed specifically to provide relief for chronic sufferers of tinnitus and Meniere’s syndrome, these capsules should be taken three times per day for the full effect. It uses vitamins and other compounds along with citrus-based flavonoids for pain relief.
Sold by Amazon and Bed Bath & Beyond
Cranberry Whole Fruit Concentrate
Anthocyanidins are the key ingredient extracted from cranberries in this supplement that provide flavonoid benefits. They provide a boost of antioxidizing properties to the body and users have reported improved sleep and relief from chronic UTIs as some of the main benefits.
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Lauren Farrell writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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