Most people do not know the term flavonoids, but we constantly come into contact with them in our lives. Flavonoids are phytochemicals that are said to have health benefits in the human body. Many are not yet fully explored. Nevertheless, some flavonoid-containing plants are also used in medicine.
Flavonoids: That's it
Flavonoids belong to the group of phytochemicals. They are responsible for the coloring of plants and protect them from harmful environmental influences.
Most flavonoids have a yellowish color. This is also the reason for their naming, because the name was derived from the Latin word flavus = yellow. Meanwhile, up to 6,500 compounds are known, which have been divided into different groups depending on their basic structure.
These foods are rich in flavonoids
Flavonoids are the most abundant dietary polyphenols (aromatic compounds) found in many fruits and vegetables. In this case, occurs in a high proportion of flavonoids often a red color of the crop.
So have, among others
- Red grapes
- Red cabbage
a high percentage of flavonoids. Since their function is the protection of plants against harmful environmental effects, the highest concentration is found in the shells and leaves.
Flavonoids support the body's defense
Scientific studies have shown positive effects of flavonoids on the human organism. The consumption of the plant substance supports the organism in promoting the body's own defense mechanisms. Flavonoids are so-called Antioxidants. These are able to neutralize free radicals (oxygen compounds in the body). This is said to have a cancer-preventing effect.
In addition, flavonoids appear to have a positive influence on the prevention of cardiovascular disease. Some flavonoids are suspected, too antibacterial or antiviral effects to have. Study results indicate that flavonoids, which are found in cranberries, have a preventive effect on urinary tract infections.
Undesirable effect of flavonoids
However, it may be that the undesirable effect of flavonoids is to increase the risk of leukemia in infants, should the mothers have consumed flavonoid supplements during pregnancy. However, it is not yet clear whether flavonoids in the form of dietary supplements have a genotoxic effect on humans.
A healthy and balanced diet with enough fruits and vegetables provides the body with sufficient flavonoids and supports its natural defenses, so that the additional intake of supplements is generally not necessary.