Flavonoids, also known as bioflavonoids are a class of phytochemicals, which is synthesized only in plants. They are important pigments are responsible for producing the pigment in the petals of flowers. Therefore, they help in pollination of plants, in addition to providing protection from insects and harmful microorganisms. Basically, there are six major classes of flavonoids or bioflavonoids. These classes are flavonols, flavones, flavanones, isoflavones, flavonoids and anthocyanins. The most common flavonoids in foods are quercetin, epicatechin, oligomeric proanthocyanidins, myricetin, catechins and xanthohumol.
Flavonoids in food
As mentioned already, the flavonoids are found only in plant foods. They are abundant in many fruits and vegetables. Some of the most important dietary sources of bioflavonoids include citrus fruits, strawberries, beans, blueberries, onions, beans, ginkgo biloba and spinach. Green tea, black and white are also very rich in flavonoids. Dark chocolate and red wine are other two important sources of these phytochemicals. Honey can also be an important source of flavonoids, depending on the types of flowers, from which the nectar has been collected. Read more at:
* Ginkgo Biloba
* Dark Chocolate
* The benefits of green tea
Flavonoids Health Benefits
Flavonoids as antioxidants
Most flavonoids health benefits can be attributed to its antioxidant properties. Flavonoids act as antioxidants to neutralize free radicals and thus minimize its harmful effects on our cells and tissues. Free radicals are highly reactive and unstable molecules that have lost an electron. This loss of electrons is what makes them highly reactive. In order to stabilize free radicals an electron need to achieve this purpose, oxidize healthy cells of our body and therefore cause extensive damage. Read more about antioxidants: how they work.
Free radicals are mainly produced as byproducts in the vital biochemical processes that take place inside our body. Some, however, enter our body from the external environment, such as cigarette smoke, alcohol, electromagnetic radiation, exposure to sunlight, consumption of processed foods, air pollution , etc. Even stress can generate a high level of free radicals in our body. At this point, you must be wondering “what flavonoids do to protect from harmful free radicals? Simply put, flavonoids as antioxidants help neutralize free radicals and stabilize, so that they could damage cells and tissues. In the process, flavonoids protect against a variety of diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, tumors, etc. Learn more about antioxidants and free radicals.
Health Benefits of Flavonoids
Besides imparting the benefits of antioxidants, flavonoids may have many health benefits as well. You can help prevent atherosclerosis, a disease characterized by fat deposition within the arterial wall. This deposit will narrow the arteries and thus hinders the blood flow to vital organs of our body such as the heart and brain. Therefore, this condition increases the risk of heart attack and stroke. Flavonoids, by preventing atherosclerosis, reduces the risk of heart disease. Learn more about heart disease and heart attacks.
Flavonoids are also known to have anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic and anti-viral. You can reduce the risk of arthritis, osteoporosis, allergies and viral diseases caused by herpes simplex virus, parainfluenza virus and adenovirus. Another important benefit to the health of the flavonoids is that they can suppress platelet aggregation, which is associated with diseases such as atherosclerosis and acute thrombosis of plaque formation. It is found that due to its anti-ulcer, which can inhibit the formation of peptic ulcers. Some studies have also shown that flavonoids such as quercetin and epicatechin may have an antidiarrheal effect. Learn more about arthritis and osteoporosis.
Thus, the flavonoids or bioflavonoids are primarily polyphenols that have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-virus, anti-cancer, anti-tumor and anti-diarrheal. It is believed that improving the body’s natural immune response to fight pathogens, allergens and carcinogens as well. So have been the subject of much research aimed at uncovering the truth about the benefits of flavonoids in health.