What are flavonoids?

Most people are not familiar with the term flavonoids, but we come into contact with them all the time in our lives. Flavonoids are phytochemicals that are said to have health-promoting effects in the human body. However, many have not yet been fully explored. Nevertheless, some flavonoid-containing plants are also used in medicine.

Flavonoids: That’s what’s behind it

Flavonoids belong to the group of secondary plant substances. They are responsible for the color of the plants and protect them from harmful environmental influences.

Most flavonoids are yellowish in color. This is also where the name comes from, because the name was derived from the Latin term flavus = yellow. Up to 6,500 compounds are now known, which have been divided into different groups depending on their basic structure.

These foods are rich in flavonoids

Flavonoids are the most common polyphenols (aromatic compounds) in food and are found in many types of fruit and vegetables. With a high proportion of flavonoids, the plant often turns red.

So have among other things

a high percentage of flavonoids. Since their function is to protect plants from harmful environmental influences, the highest concentration is found in the husks and leaves.

Flavonoids support the body’s defenses

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 what are known as  antioxidantsThese are able to render free radicals (oxygen compounds in the body) harmless. As a result, they are said to have a cancer-preventive effect.

In addition, flavonoids seem to have a positive impact on the prevention of cardiovascular diseases. Some flavonoids are suspected of also having  antibacterial or antiviral effects  . Study results indicate that flavonoids, such as those found in  cranberries  , have a preventive effect on urinary tract infections.

Undesirable effect of flavonoids

However, it could be that an increase in the risk of leukemia in small children is emerging as an undesirable effect of flavonoids if the mothers have taken flavonoid supplements during pregnancy. However, it is not yet clear whether flavonoids in the form of  food supplements  have a genotoxic effect on humans.

A healthy, balanced diet with enough fruit and vegetables provides the body with sufficient flavonoids and supports its natural defenses, so that the additional intake of food supplements is generally not necessary.

 

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