Before we discuss what is flavonoids, I have a question for you. If you eat right, do you believe that you will get all the nutrients your body needs? First of all, what is ‘right’? There can be a huge gap in what you think is healthy and what your body really needs. Today scientists that study nutrition say that it is impossible to get the nutrients we need from our diet.
The amount of fruits and vegetables alone that we would have to eat would be far more than most of us can consume each day. Another consideration is that important nutrients like carotenoids and flavonoids are found in the skin and seeds of plants (parts you may not be eating), and that variety is important even though many of us like to eat a lot of the same fruits and veggies.
Today we are talking about flavonoids. Why is it beneficial for you to supplement your diet with flavonoids, even if you are already taking a carotenoid supplement (see our previous article, What Are Carotenoids)? What science has shown us is that carotenoids are great antioxidants, but they can’t fully protect us from the harmful effects of oxidation on our cells.
Flavonoids are substances in your body that help boost your immune system, and can even act like an antibiotic. They are anti-inflammatory and can help prevent cancer by helping the body to stop the growth of blood vessels in tumors. When combined with carotenoids, they have incredible disease-prevention properties. They are water soluble (in contrast to carotenoids that are fat soluble – stored in the fatty tissues of your body) potent antioxidants.
Your heart can benefit with flavonoid use because they help prevent blood clots and protect your LDL – or bad cholesterol – from oxidative damage. LDL is harmful when it is oxidized in your body. The anti-inflammatory effects can help decrease your allergy symptoms; and flavanoids like bilberry, purple cabbage and grapes may help protect the lens of your eyes from cataracts.
There are many flavonoid sources, but remember that there is greatest concentration in the seeds and skin: pine bark, grape seed, grape skin, bilberry, cranberry, black currant, green tea, black tea, purple, blue and red fruits and vegetables like blueberries, black berries, plums, cranberries, rasberries, red onions, red potatoes, red radishes, red wine, cocoa powder, dark chocolate, parsley, celery, citrus fruits and juices.
Flavonoids support health by strengthening capilaries and other connective tissue. Some function as anti-inflammatory, anti-histaminanic, or anti-viral agents; and they are linked to healthy blood circulation, strong capilaries and veins, and deliver antioxidant protection to blood rich tissues like the liver and intestines.
What you should look for in a flavonoid supplement:
There are six different classes of flavonoids: anthocyanadins, proanthocynadins, polyphenols, flavanones, flavones and flavonols. Choose a supplement that has all six so that you will get the broad spectrum benefits of all of them. Remember that we mentioned variety in flavonoid food sources is important and is the same for supplements. Another important consideration is that your flavonoid supplement is standardized – so that you can trust the content (this means you need to trust the BRAND!).
I applaud you if you have made the choice to eat to prevent disease and promote health. Living to eat does not produce good results. And even if we do eat-to-live we know that supplements can help us build better health.
To learn more about standardized flavonoids from the #1 Natural Nutrition Company in the Unites States, visit: FLAVOMAX.