The sharp bite of that red onion on your Fig, Arugula & Red Onion Salad… the body and finish of your favorite Pinot Noir…and the cleansing astringent nature of your soothing cup of green tea oddly have something in common -flavonoids.
Flavonoids Reduce Inflammation
This vast group of compounds, each with distinctive flavor and function, have been studied extensively for their anti-inflammatory action. Found in high concentrations in cocoa, red wine and tea, a majority of studies show a significant inverse association between flavonoid consumption and the risk of heart disease…as well as diabetes.
A recent Finnish study examined the diets of 10, 054 men and women. Researchers found a decrease in heart disease and diabetes with the Fins getting a specific flavonoid – quercetin – in their diet. Quercetin is found in high concentrations in apples, onions, red grapes and broccoli, to name a few.
Researchers believe that flavonoids, as a broad class, halt the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, reduce the potential for a dangerous clot, improve the function of red blood cells and also alter the pathways that lead to inflammation.
Flavonoids: Getting the Most
In general, the stronger the flavor, the more flavonoids a food contains. Choose decadent dark chocolate, full-bodied organic wine, aromatic green teas, jewel-tone veggies and sharp onions to reap the benefits of flavonoids.