What are flavonoids?

Flavonoids belong to a class of plant secondary metabolites having a polyphenolic structure. They have miscellaneous favorable biochemical and antioxidant effects associated with various diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer’s disease (AD), atherosclerosis, etc.

There are around 8,000 varieties of flavonoids in almost every plant species. Foods rich in flavonoids include vegetables, fruits such as apples, pears and berries, and chocolate, tea and wine.

Flavonoids provide pigment, flavor, and environmental protection for plants, preventing damage from environmental stressors like bacteria, fungi, insects, and the sun’s UV rays.

In the body, they act as antioxidants, and prevent damage to cells. This is because of their antioxidative, anti-inflammatory, anti-mutagenic and anti-carcinogenic properties coupled with their capacity to modulate key cellular enzyme functions.

They are broken down by the gut microbiome. Flavonoids are “powerhouses” that help arrest memory decline, often a forerunner of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Strawberries are especially rich in flavonoids, the researchers said, while flavones give the greatest protection against cognitive decline. These are found in spices and in yellow or orange fruits and vegetables.

Tea is one of the top sources in the diet of naturally occurring heart-friendly flavonoids. Unsweetened Lipton Green and Black Teas contain about 150 to 170 mg respectively of flavonoids per 8-oz serving, compared with 3 mg in a cup of cooked broccoli and 45 mg in a medium apple.
What are flavonoids?

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