What are flavonoids?

You’d be forgiven for thinking the word flavonoid is scientific speak for flavour. After all, both words sound very similar. But actually, the science of flavonoids goes a lot further – just like the list of benefits they carry. So what are flavonoids and what flavonoid-rich foods should you look out for?

What are flavonoids?

In simple terms, flavonoids are compounds that are high in antioxidants. They’re mainly found in fruits, vegetables and other plant-based foods but also crop up in red wine and dark chocolate.1 The general rule is that the more colourful a fruit or vegetable is, the higher the level of flavonoids it contains.2

Why do our bodies need flavonoids?

When trying to understand flavonoids, it’s best to look at the role of antioxidants. First of all, our bodies can naturally suffer from oxidative stress, which is when free radicals begin to damage healthy cells. Antioxidants fight against oxidative stress, which is why getting a healthy amount of flavonoid-rich fruits and vegetables is essential.

The health benefits of flavonoids and where to find them

There are six main types of flavonoids that contain various benefits, each of which are found in different foods. They are:

  1. Flavanols

They are commonly found in kale, peaches, tomatoes, onions, lettuce, tea, grapes, red wine, blueberries, and other fruit.3

  1. Flavan-3-ols

Nutrient-rich flavan-3-ols can be found in lots of foods.4 These include white, green, and black tea, as well as apples, grapes, strawberries, blueberries and even cocoa products, such as dark chocolate.5

  1. Flavones

Like all flavonoids, flavones are praised for their antioxidant properties. Citrus fruits like lemons, grapefruit, limes and oranges are familiar sources of flavones,6 as are celery, parsley, and hot peppers.7

  1. Isoflavones

More research is needed around isoflavones, but experts believe this type of flavonoid can help with the body’s hormone balance.Isoflavones are richest in soy products along with peanuts, pistachios, and fava beans.9

  1. Anthocyanins

The last flavonoid on our list, anthocyanins. You’ll commonly find these flavonoids in the outer skin of various berries, including red and purple grapes, blackberries, strawberries, blueberries, cranberries and even red wine.10

Where to get your flavonoids

Flavonoids are an essential part of a healthy diet. Of course, if you’re not getting enough of the foods on this list, perhaps because of an allergy, you can always top yourself up with supplements to support a healthy lifestyle when taken with a balanced diet. Why not see for yourself?
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