Flavonoids form a wide class of plant compounds that can play a number of roles in the human body. In this article, we are going to focus on their protective properties. Reportedly, they are effective in cancer prevention and can significantly reduce risks of getting cardiac disorders. Let’s find out why “An apple a day keeps a doctor away” is more than just a trivial saying.
Healthy Effects of Flavonoids
While the exact mechanism is to be revealed yet, studies have proven that flavonoids can add a lot to body defenses. Here are some major points you want to know in this respect:
- Flavonoids suppress inflammatory processes and can prevent cancer. Studies show that people who consume foods rich in flavonoids tend to get cancer less often.
- Flavonoids improve the condition of blood vessels. Consequently, they promote cardiac health and lower risks of getting a heart disease.
- Interestingly, according to researchers, the above health effects secured by this class of natural substances are more pronounced in people heavily addicted to tobacco or alcohol. There is no sound explanation of the fact for now. That said, flavonoid consumption can compensate the bad habits.
- The optimum amount to consume is 500 mg; it secures the best protection. Further increasing the dose has been shown to result in negligent increase in protection, if any.
Major Sources of Flavonoids
An extra benefit of flavonoids is that they can be easily consumed with plant foods, such as apples. Green tea is another lavish supply of this class of substances. Additionally, you can expect to be well stocked with flavonoids if you eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, red wine, parsley and dark chocolate on a regular basis.
It is important to realize that it is the diversity of flavonoids consumed that secures the health benefits. None of the more than 6,000 representative of the class can be effective enough on its own. This is another important consideration in favor of having a diversified and well-balanced diet. Also, this highlights the role that proper nutrition plays in our life.
Flavonoids consumed with fruits and vegetables act as potent antioxidants, thus protecting the body from such malign processes as propagation of inflammations or cancer.
Here are some facts revealed by topical studies:
- It has been proven that flavonoids boost anti-inflammatory mechanisms by inhibiting reactive nitrogen and oxygen compounds.
- The cancer cell growth inhibition effect is a proven fact with flavonoids.
- Despite numerous positive findings, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not acknowledged the beneficial role of flavonoids as for now.
- In vitro studies have revealed the ability of the substances to suppress bacterial activity.
- Flavonoids can be synthesized when plants are exposed to the light from any part of spectrum.
- Flavonoid molecules can also be produced by some genetically engineered microorganisms.
Despite the extensive research already done, more studies are required to find out an exact mechanism, which makes these compounds so valuable in the human body. For example, it is yet to be explained why focus groups consisting of individuals with tobacco and alcohol addiction tended to respond to flavonoid consumption more readily than people without these bad habits.