Flavonoid Foods That Can Reduce The Occurrence Of Heart Disease

What you eat can make a big difference in your health which definitely follows the “you are what you eat” tenet. Eat fatty foods and you will eventually gain weight and develop high cholesterol. Eat a healthy diet rich in flavonoids and you can expect a lower incidence of heart disease. Not only do flavonoids lower your heart disease risk, they also help with other conditions like menopause and stroke.

So what is this magical “flavonoid” anyway? Flavonoids are antioxidant components found mostly in foods derived from plants. The idea is that these flavonoids protect your heart by reducing the LDL part of your cholesterol levels, otherwise known as low-density lipoproteins or “bad” cholesterol. These “noids” diminish swelling and inflammation within the blood vessels, allowing better blood flow and proper oxygenation throughout the body.

Some studies unequivocally show that flavonoids definitely protect the heart while in others, the studies only hint at this protection. Because everyone’s health, genetic history and body chemistry is different, what may be a home run in the flavonoid department for one person may only be a bunt in another. Regardless, flavonoids are important to your health because their antioxidant properties help fight free radicals.

The subclasses of flavonoids

There are three main types of flavonoids (although there are more) that can help reduce the threat of heart disease in addition to other related health conditions including cardiovascular issues and diseases of the blood vessels. These flavones, anthocyanidins and flavonones subclasses can reduce the threat of heart disease by 10-25% or more, according to some medical researchers.

To get an idea of what foods contain flavonoids look to food and drink that have some intense color and flavors. For example, blueberries, raspberries and dark red and purple grapes contain anthocyanins as does red wine. Many citrus fruits like grapefruit, oranges, lemons and limes contain the flavanones part of the flavonoid family. Flavones can be found in celery, parsley, onion and different types of dried beans.

There are other food and drink items that contain flavonoids for good health such as green tea, Gingko Biloba, pears, apples and white tea. Dark chocolate with high percentages of cacao also contribute to the flavonoid pool. While flavonoids in general can help reduce the risk of heart disease, it is those three subclasses listed above that really put you over the top in terms of dietary protection.

Results

Whether you are young or older, introducing more foods with these flavonoids can and will make a difference. Of course, the earlier you start, the more protection you have. Different dietary studies have shown that women in particular benefit from flavonoids, especially those in perimenopause and menopause.

If you are ready to make the commitment to lower your risk of heart disease, incorporate some of the food items above. Visit with a nutritionist or do your own research to find even more foods with the flavonoids to add to your diet. Some of the best side effects to adopting a new diet with these foods include a lower cholesterol level, the likelihood of losing a few pounds and a deeper reservoir of energy…. (continues) …

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