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Blueberries Flavonoids

Have You Had Your Flavonoids Today?

Do you know there are many more substances in our food besides vitamins, minerals, protein, fat, carbohydrate and water that are beneficial for good health?

Flavonoids, a group of naturally occurring plant chemicals, generally known as phytochemicals, have been found to provide health benefits.  There are greater than five thousand flavonoid compounds that exist in plants.  Flavonoids can be found in fruits, vegetables, grains, bark, roots, stems, flowers, tea and wine.  Those found in food are classified into six groups.  The six groups are: flavonols, anthocyanidins, isoflavones, flavan-3-ols, flavones and flavonones.  Some function as antioxidants in the body.  Antioxidants protect our cells from oxidative stress that can cause cell damage.  Research has shown a connection between oxidative stress and health problems such as heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, lung disease, arthritis and muscular dystrophy. Click here to learn more about Flavonoids from the UF/IFAS Extension Service.

Eating a healthful diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables, including good sources of flavonoids may help reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease.  Click here for the 2015 – 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans to learn more about the role of food and nutrition in health promotion and disease prevention from the US Department of Health and Human Services and US Department of Agriculture.

Flavonols
– Common food sources include kale, onions, broccoli and apple with the peel.

Anthocyanidins
– These substances are responsible for the red, blue and purple color in many fruits and vegetables.
– The amount of anthocyandin in fruits and vegetables is greatest in fresh and raw selections.
– Common food sources include blueberries, sweet cherries, cranberries and red cabbage.

Isoflavones
– They are found primarily in soybeans and soy products.
– Common food sources include edamame, tofu, soynuts and soymilk.

Flavan-3-ols
– Common food sources include brewed green and black tea, cocoa products, blueberries, dark chocolate and red wine.

Flavones and Flavanones
– Common food sources: parsley contains flavones and citrus fruits contain flavanones.
Looking for more information on flavonoid content of foods?

Click here for a detailed list from USDA – Database for the Flavonoid Content of Selected Foods