Flavonoids are a group of plant-derived compounds. There are between 4000 and 6000 different varieties known to date. Some are used in medicine, supplements or for other health purposes.
1. Flavonoids are one of the largest group of phytonutrients – natural compounds produced by plants.
2. They are rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties that can help support a healthy human body.
3. Studies have found that they may prevent chronic conditions, such as heart disease, support the nervous system and have an allergy-fighting potential.
What are they?
Flavonoids are one of the largest groups of phytonutrients – natural chemicals or compounds produced by plants to keep them healthy and protect them from insects and the sun. Phytonutrients are typically rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties that can help support a healthy human body.
Where to find them?
Flavonoids are mostly found in fruits and vegetables. Some of the largest sources of flavonoids include:
– Green and black tea
– Fruits such as apples, bananas, blueberries, cherries and grapefruit
– Vegetables such as peppers, onions, eggplant, broccoli and celery
– Dark chocolate
What are the health benefits?
Due to their antioxidant properties, flavonoids have been linked to many health benefits. Antioxidants are known to fight against free radical damage. Free radicals are unstable, electrically charged molecules that can damage DNA and proteins and may play a role in the development of heart disease, cancer and diabetes. Antioxidants, on the other hand, can effectively neutralise these free radicals and prevent damage to the cells. Studies have thereby found that flavonoids may help prevent such diseases. In fact, researchers have linked the consumption of flavonoids to a reduced risk of coronary heart disease and stroke. What’s more, research suggests that flavonoids may support the nervous system and have an allergy-fighting potential.
Kumar S. and Pandey A. (2013). Chemistry and biological activities of flavonoids: an overview. The Scientific World Journal, 2013.
Tanaka T. (2013). Flavonoids as complementary medicine for allergic diseases: current evidence and future prospects. OA Alternative medicine, 1(2), pp.11.
Peterson J., Dwyer J., Jacques P. and McCullough M. (2012). Do flavonoids reduce cardiovascular disease incidence or mortality in US and European populations? Nutrition Reviews, 70(9), pp.491-508.
Wang X., Ouyang Y., Liu J. and Zhao G. (2014). Flavonoid intake and risk of CVD: a systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. British Journal of Nutrition, 111(1), pp.1-11.