Flavonoid Secrets When I set out to create iblogJuicing.com one of my goals was to educate myself on as many health related topics as possible, apply them to my lifestyle and speak about them on the blog. I’ve been benefiting from Juicing and eating primally for quite some time and wanted to educate myself on the science behind my success. If you’re like me you may sometimes get lost with all the technical jargon and chemistry behind some of these topics, flavonoids being no different. Many of these articles are written with certain audiences in mind, perhaps the medical community. I’ve attempted to take what I learned from flavonoids and present them in a more practical and applicable way. This is a Juicing blog so let’s stick to how flavonoids can help our diet and health and not so much on the molecular structure of flavonoids. What are Flavonoids? Flavonoid Definition: flavonoid /fla·vo·noid/ (fla´vah-noid)-any of a group of compounds containing a characteristic aromatic nucleus and widely distributed in higher plants, often as a pigment; a subgroup with biological activity in mammals are the bioflavonoids. Source: http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/flavonoid Flavonoids are naturally occurring plant pigments found in fruits and vegetables and are responsible for their color. They help create the yellow and blue-red colors that attract pollinating insects. They also help filter UV rays, help convert nitrogen into a useable form and regulate chemical reactions within plants. Flavonoids are also sometimes referred to as bioflavonoids. In the early 20th century, they were called vitamin P, but that term isn't used as commonly today. As a group, flavonoids come in many different types. If you see something referred to as an isoflavone, flavonol, flavanone, flavanol or anthocyanidin, it is a type of flavonoid. Some common flavonoids include quercetin, genistein, chrysin and resveratrol. What Are the Benefits of Flavonoids? Studies are ongoing to determine what role flavonoids play in human health, however, many experts agree that humans enjoy many of the same benefits plants do. Among the many benefits attributed to Flavonoids are: Reduced risk of heart disease - chronic inflammation contributes to heart disease. Scientists are currently theorizing that the anti-inflammatory properties of flavonoids are what makes them effective against heart disease. -Antioxidant properties - Antioxidants combat free radicals, compounds that cause inflammation and change the DNA of cells. The damage to cells caused by free radicals can, among other dangers, cause ordinary cells to mutate into cancer cells. Antioxidants help protect against this effect. Flavonoids, like other antioxidants, fight off cell damaging free radicals and metallic ions. -Vitamin C benefits - Flavonoids work very well with vitamin C. Each substance enhances the antioxidant properties of the other. Some studies have shown that vitamin C related functions may require the presence of flavonoids. Flavonoids may also reduce or prevent the following: asthma stroke cancer allergies cataracts diabetes gout migraines stomach ulcers Foods Containing Flavonoids? fruits vegetables herbs chocolate tea red wine beer Flavonoids are found in a multitude of plant-based foods. It's extremely easy to fit a significant amount of flavonoids into your diet by eating whole foods and juicing. I’ve always stressed that Juicing should be one component of an overall balanced diet and lifestyle. Experts may argue that removing the Juice from its pulp may decrease the flavonoid value. This is why I suggest eating some fruits and vegetables whole in addition to Juicing for Weight Loss. For example, having a salad with some raw vegetables at dinner or some sliced raw veggies throughout the day in addition to Juice. This will ensure you’re getting an adequate amount of flavonoids not to mention numerous other benefits. Here are some Flavonoid foods to enjoy: Fruits such as apples, grapes, blueberries, black currants, cranberries, bananas, tomatoes and a variety of citrus fruits. Citrus fruit peels also have flavonoids, so be sure to add some zest to your recipes. Vegetables and herbs such as broccoli, kale, cabbage, celery, mustard greens, parsley, thyme and yellow onions. Seeds, nuts and beans such as flax seed, walnuts, pecans, pistachios, cashews, soybeans, black beans and kidney beans. Beverages and guilty pleasures such as red wine, fruit juices made from unprocessed raw fruit, dark chocolate (cocoa flavonoids) and teas of all kinds. Green tea in particular has a high concentration of flavonoids. Flavonoid tip: you’ll increase your flavonoid intake by eating raw fruits and vegetables. Cooking fruits and vegetables or buying store bought Juices reduces the flavonoid content therefore diminishing their beneficial properties. The heat used to cook or produce these items will decrease it potency. Try incorporating raw fruits and vegetables into your diet as much as possible. The enzymes in raw foods will benefit you immensely. Tips for Increasing your Flavonoid Consumption: Drink homemade Fruit and Vegetable Juice Eat some of your Fruits and Vegetables whole An occasional glass of Red wine Some Dark Chocolate with high cocoa content on occasion Have a fruit smoothie with low glycemic fruits such as berries. Juicing allows you to add a number of flavonoids from a variety of sources to your diet every day. Choose several different colors of fruits and vegetables to ensure you’re consuming a variety of nutrients. Not only will you get the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits of flavonoids, but you'll get a delicious treat to drink as well.