Why We Need More Research on Flavonoids

Jon Stout
 


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In recent years, alternative therapies have regained popularity in our culture for their possible use in preventing and treating disease. And it appears that one of the best things we can do to prevent disease and help ensure we live a long and healthy life is to be careful of our diet. A good diet is a simple way to help our bodies stay healthy and heal themselves.

What we’ve learned about how our diet can help us goes beyond limiting fat and eating a reasonable number of calories. We’ve always known that fruits and vegetables were good for us because of the fiber and vitamins they provide, and because of their low calorie content. But, now, we understand even more about the benefits of fruits and vegetables – and how they’re even more important than we realized for protecting our bodies from disease.

The magic in fruits and vegetables are called anti-oxidants. Anti-oxidants are body chemicals that reduce free radicals in our bodies. Free radicals occur when the body burns oxygen to produce energy as part of processing the food we eat. Oxidants are created that damage cells, clog arteries and lead to disease. Anti-oxidants neutralize these free radicals, preventing them from causing damage.

One of the most important groups of anti-oxidants is called flavonoids. Flavonoids are found in plants, and fulfill such functions as producing pigmentation as well as protecting the plant from attack by insects and microbes. Because flavonoids are very low in toxicity compared to many other active plant compounds, they are safe for significant consumption by humans.

Flavonoids have been proven to have anti-allergic, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial and anti-carcinogenic activity, meaning they can protect the body from allergens, viruses and cancers. This is all in addition to their powerful anti-oxidant capacity.

One study reported by the UK Tea Council discusses the much lower incidence of colon, prostate and breast cancer among Asian populations, who consume more vegetables and drink more green tea than Western populations. This study also discusses the fact that when you evaluate the plants and spices that have been used in herbal remedies for centuries, nearly all of them are extremely high in flavonoids. In addition, the study reports on the wide body of evidence that supports the fact that flavonoids have active anti-tumor capability.

So, Where Can I Find Flavonoids?

Once you’ve become convinced that flavonoids are essential to your health and well-being, you’ll likely be anxious to find all the best sources. Well, the good new is that it’s not difficult to get your daily dose of flavonoids. You can make some significant improvement simply by increasing your intake of fruits and vegetables. But, be sure they’re fresh – often many of the most potent anti-oxidants are lost during processing. Some plant products, fruits, and vegetables are higher than others in flavonoids, however. So, if you want to maximize your flavonoid intake, be sure you’re including these products in your diet regularly:

  • Artichokes

  • Kale

  • Blueberries

  • Strawberries

  • Asparagus

  • Green Tea

  • Red Beans

  • Tomatoes

  • Pomegranates

    These products have all been shown to be excellent sources of flavonoids, and all of them are widely available. One of the best sources of all is green tea, and it’s likely easier to make green tea a regular part of your diet than any of the other sources.

    You can find green tea in loose form, powdered form or in tea bags. This makes it one of the easiest ways to ensure that you always have a good source of flavonoids even your house, even if you haven’t had a chance to visit the market and buy fresh fruits and vegetables lately. Today, major tea manufacturers are even making bottled green tea, so you can conveniently replace soda with something far more healthful.

    And, green tea has been widely shown in research to be very effective in preventing disease. A wide body of research exists that links green tea to the prevention of cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and many forms of cancer. Green tea has even been shown in some studies to be an effective treatment for cancer, when combined with traditional therapies.

    It has been shown that green tea, when administered along with chemotherapy, makes the chemotherapy drugs more effective. One study showed that green tea helped to increase the concentration of the chemotherapy drugs in the cancerous cells. In addition, green tea seems to inhibit the replication of cancer cells, meaning that if you consume green tea during cancer treatment, the cancer may be less likely to grow and spread.

    It’s really quite amazing that something so abundant and available could have so much potential to keep us healthy. It’s critical that the medical community spend more time testing the power of flavonoids and other anti-oxidants against disease. It’s likely that we could have many healthy remedies right under our nose. In the meantime, be sure to get your daily dose of anti-oxidants, by eating lots of fruits and vegetables and drinking green tea!

    Jon M. Stout is the Chairman of the Golden Moon Tea Company. Golden Moon Tea carefully selects the finest rare and orthodox teas, which are processed slowly and handcrafted with extreme care. At their website, you can learn more about their current tea offerings, including their exceptional green tea , white tea, black tea, oolong tea (also known as wu-long and wu long tea ) and chai. Visit goldenmoontea.com for all details concerning the Golden Moon Tea Company's fine line of teas.

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