“Flavonoid” is a fun word to say.
It’s even better when you know what it is and the good it does you.
These pigment compounds are present in fruits and vegetables like cocoa, tea, berries, and parsley.
There are different varieties of flavonoid, all with antioxidant properties. This is where their benefits to our health is found.
When in the course of its human events each cell does its specialized thing, free radicals are created when exposure to oxygen causes an atom or group of atoms to lose an electron, resulting in an odd number. In its quest to even itself out, the unstable free radical atom can cause damage to other cells.
Antioxidants found in food are generous and easy, happy to give up their electrons to the free radicals, making them calm down and behave normally. Different antioxidants affect different atoms in different ways; flavonoids have been found to regulate blood sugar levels and enhance insulin response.
Flavonoids Can Help Prevent Type 2 Diabetes.
In a study published in the Journal of Nutrition, the flavonoid anthocyanin found in cocoa (the kind found in dark chocolate, not a Hershey bar) decreases the risk of cardiovascular disease and the development of diabetes.
“Flavanols and related polyphenolic antioxidants may improve the insulin resistance by increasing the endothelial bioavailability of NO [nitric oxide] and decreasing the formation of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species.”
Anthocyanin is Abundant in Various Berries, Tea, Red Grapes, and Red Delicious Apples.
High insulin resistance is related to diabetes; when blood sugar levels don’t respond to the body’s insulin, an excess occurs. As a chronic condition, this is diabetes. Almost 40 percent of Americans over the age of twenty are in at least the initial stages of Type 2 diabetes.
This is a result of the typical North American lifestyle and diet; most cases of this type of diabetes can be prevented or managed through diet and regular exercise. Chronic inflammation in the body is often a precursor to cancer, heart disease, and arthritis.
“…Higher anthocyanin and flavone intake were associated with significantly lower peripheral insulin resistance…Anthocyanin-rich foods were also associated with lower insulin and inflammation levels. No significant associations were observed for total or other flavonoid subclasses. Higher intakes of both anthocyanins and flavones were associated with improvements in insulin resistance…These associations were found with intakes readily achieved in the diet.”
Enjoy a Daily Cup of Tea!
Tea has been found to decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease via its resident antioxidant polyphenols (of which flavonol is one).
Load up on those seasonal blue-, bil-, straw-, lingon-, and cran- berries while you can still get them fresh. Add raw cocoa to a smoothie or salad, have a cup of black or green tea (hot or cold!), and go for a walk to be on the right path to avoid one of the most widespread of diseases.