8 Foods rich in flavonoids
Flavonoids are found ubiquitously in plants. Fruits and vegetables are the main dietary sources of flavonoids, along with tea and wine. Flavonoids are powerful antioxidants. It is believed that diets rich in flavonoid-containing foods are sometimes associated with cancer, neurodegenerative and cardiovascular disease prevention.
Because flavonoids are widely spread, great in variety and relatively low in toxicity (compared to other active plant compounds such as alkaloids) we consume significant quantities of them with our diet. However, there is still difficulty in measuring the daily intake of flavonoids because of the complexity of existence.
With its distinctive flavour, parsley is widely used in Americas, Europe, Middle East and Asia. Many dishes are served with fresh green chopped parsley sprinkled on top. Fresh and dried, parsley is a rich source of flavonoids, folic acid, vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin A, and many microelements such as calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and zinc. So, don’t be stingy with parsley. However, excessive consumption of parsley should be avoided by pregnant women. It is safe in normal food quantities, but larger amounts may have uterotonic effect.
Not having dense nutrients, blueberries are often called “superfood” due to an unusually high content of antioxidants, vitamins and some seldom found in nature components.
Black tea is a rich source of dietary flavan-3-ols. We are not saying that you should start the “five-o’clock” tradition, but “one cup a day” is an excellent idea.
The citrus are packed with flavonoids including hesperidin, quercitrin, rutin, and the flavone tangeritin. So, “an orange a day….” – you know the lyrics, don’t you?
Lots of polyphenols in wine. But don’t overdo it!
Cocoa naturally contains flavonoids, but because they can be bitter, they are often removed from chocolate, even dark chocolate.
Recent research on peanuts has found polyphenols and other phytochemicals. Red peanut skin contains significant polyphenol content, including flavonoids.
Sea buckthorn is highly nutritious fruit that consists of sugars, sugar alcohols, fruit acids, vitamins (C, E and K), phenolic compounds, carotenoids, flavonoids, fiber, amino acids, minerals and plant sterols. The fruit contains many of these in high amounts. In Indian, Chinese and Tibetan medicines, sea buckthorn fruit is widely used: it is added to medications in belief it affects pulmonary, gastrointestinal, cardiac, blood or metabolic disorders. Taken orally, berry oil is believed to be a skin softener.
Having said the above, do not forget to include foods with a high flavonoid content in your daily diet: parsley, onions, blueberries and other berries, black and green tea, bananas, all citrus fruits, Ginkgo biloba, red wine, sea-buckthorns, and dark chocolate (with a cocoa content of 70% or greater).