Flavonoids are various compounds found naturally in many fruits and vegetables. They’re also in plant products like wine, tea, and chocolate. There are six different types of flavonoids found in food, and each kind is broken down by your body in a different way.
Flavonoids are rich in antioxidant activity and can help your body ward off everyday toxins. Including more flavonoids in your diet is a great way to help your body stay healthy and potentially decrease your risk of some chronic health conditions.
Many plant products contain dietary flavonoids. Here are the six flavonoid subtypes, and the foods that contain them.
These types of flavonoids are known for their antioxidant properties. They may help manage symptoms of cardiovascular disease. Flavanols are found in these foods:
- grapes and red wine
Foods with these types of flavonoids are very rich in nutrients. They include:
- white tea
- green tea
- oolong tea
- black tea
- purple and red grapes
- cocoa and chocolate products
Flavones are the pigments in blue and white flowering plants. They also work as a natural pesticide, protecting leaves from harmful insects.
Flavones may also help with inflammation in the body. You can find them in:
- red peppers
Flavanones are known for their anti-inflammatory properties. They may also help you manage your weight and cholesterol. Flavanones are found in these foods:
Isoflavones may help keep hormones balanced in your body. Isoflavonoids are mainly in soy, soy products, and some other legumes such as fava beans.
Anthocyanins are naturally produced pigments that give flowers their red, purple, and blue color. They’re predominantly found in the outer skin of berries and berry products like:
- red and purple grapes
- red wine
Flavonoids help regulate cellular activity and fight off free radicals that cause oxidative stress on your body. In simpler terms, they help your body function more efficiently while protecting it against everyday toxins and stressors.
Flavonoids are also powerful antioxidant agents. Antioxidants help your body fight off potentially harmful molecules that can be introduced to the body. Your body produces antioxidants naturally, but they’re also found in dark chocolate, legumes, and many fruits and vegetables.
Inflammation is one of your body’s immune responses. Allergens, germs, toxins, and other irritants can trigger inflammation that results in uncomfortable symptoms. Flavonoids may help your body dismiss that inflammatory reaction so that those symptoms are reduced.
Different flavonoids can help the body in different ways. For one, including foods with flavonoids in your diet may be an effective way to help manage high blood pressure. At least five subtypes of flavonoids have a demonstrable effect on lowering high blood pressure, according to a
Also, the flavonoids found in tea, coffee, and soy may help lower your risk of having a heart attack or stroke. One study published in the
A diet high in flavonoids may also decrease your risk of type 2 diabetes. Results of a
The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects of flavonoids have also encouraged researches to study their potential as anticancer drugs. Research has
Still, more studies are needed to confirm whether flavonoids can be used as an effective cancer therapy.
Flavonoids have many health benefits and are easy to include in your diet. They have powerful antioxidant properties and can help manage symptoms of inflammation. Researchers are only starting to learn the potential of flavonoids as medicine, but it seems promising.