by Matt Weik
Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. As per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 47% or around 116 million people in the United States have hypertension. Additionally, heart disease and stroke are two leading causes of death in the US.
While there are various medications, a few simple changes to one’s lifestyle can help lower the risk of hypertension. For instance, let’s say every time you eat berries or drink green tea, you get a dose of flavonoids that provide you with many health benefits. Wouldn’t that be something you’d want to do? Or perhaps you’re excited to know more about this ergogenic aid and the various other health-promoting benefits? Let’s dive in a little deeper!
In this article, we will discuss everything related to flavonoids and all the benefits you can experience by having them in your nutrition plan.
What are Flavonoids?
Flavonoids are a part of the polyphenol family. They are antioxidant-rich phytonutrients found in plants and are also responsible for giving fruits and vegetables their varying colors. Plus, since flavonoids are present in fruits and vegetables, they are also known as dietary flavonoids because of their anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and anti-cancer properties.
Flavonoids are found in various food items like tea, berries, red wine, among other things. They help decrease the risk of chronic heart disease and improve overall health. Apart from that, the antioxidant properties naturally found in flavonoids help ward off toxins that can be found in the body.
The Various Types of Flavonoids
Flavonoids are classified into six major subgroups. Here is a breakdown of each individual group:
Flavonols are primarily known for their antioxidant properties and help manage heart-related problems. They are found in things such as onions, tea, berries, tomatoes, broccoli, and more.
Flavan-3-ols are known to be packed with various health-promoting nutrients. They are found in white tea, blueberries, strawberries, black tea, chocolates, and more.
Flavones are pigments that are found in blue and white flowering plants and work as natural pesticides. They help protect the body from inflammation. They are found in red pepper, parsley, peppermint, and more.
Flavanones contain anti-inflammatory properties and help manage cholesterol and body weight. They are commonly found in lemons, grapefruits, and more.
Isoflavones are best known for helping balance hormones. They are found in soy products, fava beans, and more.
Anthocyanins are naturally occurring pigments that are responsible for the color of foods like fruits and vegetables. They are found in berries, red wine, and more.
What Do Flavonoids Do?
Flavonoids help improve the body’s functioning by fighting off free radicals that lead to oxidative stress. In short, it helps to protect the body from toxins and pathogens that enter the body and can do it harm.
Next, flavonoids contain antioxidant properties that help in the fight against harmful molecules. It also prevents inflammation by removing allergens, germs, and more from the body.
The Benefits of Flavonoids
There are various types of flavonoids that help the body in different ways. Including flavonoids in your nutrition plan helps manage blood pressure. As per a 2015 review, 5 out of 6 types of flavonoids were helpful in lowering blood pressure.
As per a study published in the Journal of Translational Medicine, people who consume flavonoids as a part of their diet had a lower risk of heart-related diseases. However, much more research is required to prove the full effects that flavonoids play on overall health.
Flavonoids in chocolates and green tea may help with improving systolic blood pressure. As per research by the Oregon State University, dark chocolate and cocoa were able to help with reducing systolic blood pressure by as much as 2.77 mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure by as much as 2.20 mm Hg.
Next, flavonoids also help with reducing the risk of type-2 diabetes. As per a meta-analysis, flavonoid intake is correlated with a lower risk of type-2 diabetes.
Studies also show that flavonoids contain anti-cancer properties, which help stop the cancer cells from multiplying. Therefore, having a flavonoid-rich diet can help reduce your risk of cancer.
Start Including Flavonoids in Your Daily Nutrition Plan
Now that you know the power of flavonoids, it’s time to put them to work!
The next time you’re grabbing a snack, make it a healthy one. And don’t forget to add a salad or two to your nutrition plan, snack on an apple, and have some brown rice.
Also, if you are making any significant changes in your nutrition plan, it is recommended that you consult a health professional to determine what’s best for your individual health and circumstances.