Flavonoids: Purpose, Benefits, and Effects to the Body

  • Flavonoids are a diverse group of naturally occurring compounds found in various fruits and vegetables.
  • Flavonoids play a role in the regulation of cellular activity as well as the defense against free radicals.
  • Flavonoids are extremely powerful antioxidants. 
  • Antioxidants aid the body in its efforts to combat potentially harmful molecules that may be introduced into the body.

  • It is highly recommended that you increase your intake of flavonoids in order to keep your body healthy and possibly lower your risk of developing certain chronic diseases.

INTRODUCTION:

In nature, flavonoids are a diverse group of naturally occurring compounds found in various fruits and vegetables, including date fruit. Additionally, they are in naturally occurring plant-based products such as wine, tea, and chocolate. Flavonoids are found in six different varieties, and your body breaks down each type of flavonoid in a slightly different way.

Flavonoids are antioxidant-rich compounds that can aid your body in fighting environmental toxins and free radicals. It is highly recommended that you increase your intake of flavonoids in order to keep your body healthy and possibly lower your risk of developing certain chronic diseases.

What foods are high in flavonoids?

Flavonoids are found in a wide variety of plant products. The six flavonoid subtypes and the foods that contain them are listed in the following section.

Flavanols

Flavanols are well-known for their anti-inflammatory properties, which is why they were chosen. They may be helpful in the management of the symptoms of cardiovascular disease. Flavanols can be found in the following foods:

  • Broccoli
  • Scallions
  • Lettuce
  • Tomatoes
  • Berries
  • Peaches
  • Tea
  • grapes and red wine
  • Kale
  • Onions

Flavan-3-ols

These types of flavonoids are found in highly nutrient-dense foods in terms of nutrients. This list includes the following items:

  • Cocoa and chocolate products
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Purple and red grapes
  • Apples
  • Oolong tea
  • Green tea
  • White tea
  • Black tea

Flavones

Flavones are the pigments found in blue and white flowering plants responsible for their color. Furthermore, they act as a natural pesticide, protecting the leaves from harmful insects.

Flavones have also been shown to be beneficial in reducing inflammation throughout the body. It is possible to find them in the following locations:

  • Peppermint
  • Chamomile
  • Celery
  • Red peppers
  • Parsley

Flavanones

Flavanones have long been recognized for their anti-inflammatory properties. Furthermore, they may assist you in controlling your weight and cholesterol. Flavanones can be found in the following food sources:

  • Grapefruit
  • Oranges
  • Limes
  • Lemons

Isoflavones

Isoflavones are phytoestrogens that may help maintain a healthy hormonal balance within the body. Isoflavonoids are found primarily in soy and soy products, a few other legumes, such as fava beans, and small amounts in other plants.

Anthocyanins

Flower colors such as red, purple, and blue are enhanced by anthocyanins, which are naturally occurring pigments. Generally speaking, they can be found on the outer skins of berries and berry products such as:

  • Blackberries
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Cranberries
  • Red wine
  • Red and purple grapes

Fruit dates: A rich source of flavonoids

Dates are high in antioxidants, particularly flavonoids, and have a variety of health benefits, including a lower risk of developing several diseases.

Compared to other dried fruits such as figs and dried plums, dates appear to contain the highest concentration of flavonoids.

As a result, dates may be beneficial in reducing inflammation, which may lower your risk of developing diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, or certain types of cancer in the future.

What purpose do Flavonoids serve?

Flavonoids play a role in the regulation of cellular activity as well as the defense against free radicals, which are responsible for oxidative stress on the body. In layman’s terms, they increase your body’s efficiency while simultaneously protecting it from everyday toxins and stressors.

Furthermore, flavonoids are extremely powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants aid the body in its efforts to combat potentially harmful molecules introduced into the body. The body produces antioxidants on its own, but they can also be found in foods such as dark chocolate, legumes, and a variety of fruits and vegetables.

Inflammation is one of your body’s immune responses to a foreign invader. Allergies, germs, toxins, and other environmental irritants can cause inflammation, which results in pain and discomfort. Your body’s ability to suppress the inflammatory response may be aided by flavonoids, which alleviate the symptoms associated with it.

What health benefits do flavonoids provide?

Flavonoids are phytochemicals that have a variety of health-promoting effects on the body. According to research, for starters, including foods high in flavonoids in your diet may be an effective way to manage high blood pressure. At least five subtypes of flavonoids have been shown to influence inthe reduction of high blood pressure, according to research published in 2015.

Additionally, the flavonoids found in tea, coffee, and soy may help lower your risk of heart attack or stroke by decreasing inflammation. Several studies, including one published in the Journal of Translational Medicine, have found that individuals who consume more flavonoids have a lower risk of experiencing a cardiovascular event. Additional research, however, is required to determine whether flavonoids have any cardiovascular benefits.

A diet high in flavonoids may also lower your chances of developing type 2 diabetes. According to the findings of a 2018 meta-analysis, a high intake of dietary flavonoids is associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetic complications. On the other hand, additional research is required to determine the efficacy of flavonoids as blood sugar regulators.

Because of flavonoids’ anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, researchers have begun investigating their potential as anticancer agents. Certain flavonoids have been shown in studies to be effective in preventing cancer cells from proliferating. Eating a healthy diet filled with flavonoids can help lower your risk of developing certain types of cancer.

Further research is required to determine whether flavonoids can be used as a cancer therapy that is both safe and effective.

CONCLUSION:

In addition to their numerous health benefits, flavonoids are relatively simple to incorporate into your diet. They have powerful antioxidant properties and help manage the symptoms of inflammatory conditions. Researchers are only beginning to understand the potential of flavonoids as medicines, but the results so far have been encouraging.

Summary

Flavonoids are antioxidants that increase your body’s efficiency while protecting it from common toxins and stressors. Flavonoids can also be found in foods such as dark chocolate, legumes, and various fruits and vegetables. Flavonoids may aid your body’s ability to suppress the inflammatory response.

Scientific Information

Antioxidants: They are substances that can aid in the prevention or delay of the cell damage caused by free radicals.

Free radicals: Free radicals are volatile atoms and can cause cell damage and premature aging in the body.

Anti-inflammatory: Anti-inflammatory medication or substance reduces inflammation in the body (swelling, redness, and pain).

Phytoestrogens: Phytoestrogens (also known as plant oestrogens) are substances that occur naturally in plants. They have a chemical structure similar to our oestrogen (one of the main female hormones).

Phytochemicals: Chemical compounds produced by plants to resist fungi, bacteria, and plant viruses are called phytochemicals.

Written by:
Dr. Faisal Rasheed, MBBS
Orthopaedic Surgery
Reviewed by:
Registered Dietitian

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