By Elizabeth May, RDN, CSOWM, LDN
A recent study looked at the effects of flavonoid-rich foods on reducing one’s risk of dying from heart disease or cancer. The study found that moderate to high intakes of flavonoid-rich foods reduced the risk of dying from these diseases. The research found that participants consuming >500 mg of these compounds each day were at the lowest risk. Another study conducted in 2015 (Australia) found that women who consumed the highest amount of flavonoids experienced 62% fewer deaths than women who consumed the least amount. The women in this study consumed 80% of their flavonoids in the form of black tea.
Flavonoids are a type of phytochemical found in plant foods such as fruits, vegetables, teas and wine. I Curious about the flavonoid content of foods? Check out the USDA Database and view the infographic posted below.
Did you know there are 5 subclasses of flavonoids? They include flavones, flavonols, flavanones, isoflavones, and anthocyanidins. These 5 subclasses are further divided into smaller classes within (you might recognize quercetin or catechin as flavonoids within the 5 main classes?) Flavonoids have been studied for their antioxidant properties for the past 40 years. Each type offers different benefits. Flavonoids have been shown to offer protective properties against cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer”s disease, epilepsy, etc.
- If you are at a greater risk of heart disease or cancer (based on family history, lab values, etc.), you might consider increasing flavonoid content or choosing more plant foods in your diet.
- Drink more black tea to boost flavonoid intake
- Visit the AICR website and view their list of Cancer Fighting Foods and work to include them in the diet