Flavonoids are naturally-occurring compounds found in plants. Besides serving as a pigment that brings beautiful color to flowers, fruits and vegetables, they’re well known for their antioxidant properties and potential for supporting many different areas of health, from collagen to capillaries to cardiovascular function.*
The best way to increase your intake of flavonoids is to make sure you’re eating plenty of foods and beverages that contain them, on a daily basis. These include broccoli, spinach, grapes, kale, onions, blueberries, pomegranates, rutabaga, water cress, blackberries, cherries, bilberries, green tea, chocolate and hot peppers. Generally speaking, the more deeply-colored a vegetable or fruit, the higher its flavonoid content is likely to be.
For the biggest benefits, aim for five servings of flavonoid-rich vegetables and four servings of flavonoid-rich fruits, per day. If you can’t squeeze in that many, try to at least consume one of these:
Blueberries. Teeming with a type of flavonoid known as anthocyanins, blueberries offer the protective benefits of these potent antioxidants, along with vitamins c and K, manganese and d-mannose, which is a type of sugar that may help promote urinary tract health.*
Chocolate. The primary kinds of flavonoids found in cocoa, as well as in chocolate, are known as flavanols. These compounds not only offer antioxidant benefits, but they may also support cardiovascular and other areas of health.* However, chocolate should be enjoyed in moderation and limited to a one-ounce portion of dark chocolate daily. Too much chocolate, especially milk chocolate, could lead to other unwanted health issues. Keep in mind, some of the beneficial chemicals found in chocolate can also be found in apples, onions, peanuts and cranberries.
Green tea. Green tea contains flavonoids called polyphenols that are well known for their antioxidant benefits as well as their potential to support immune and cardiovascular system health.* Research has also shown that green tea also supports healthy metabolism and may benefit people on a weight-loss program that includes a well-balanced diet and exercise. As with chocolate, you may need to limit your consumption of green tea if you’re sensitive to caffeine.
While food sources of flavonoids are always best, they are available in supplement form, often combined with vitamin C. Suggested doses vary widely, so it’s best to consult with a nutrition expert or your healthcare provider to find out the right amount for you.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.