Flavonoids (Wikipedia) – why they are important for a healthy heart
According to a recent study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the chances of dying from heart disease decrease by 40% by adding flavonoid-rich, colorful fruits and vegetables. Eating colorful vegetables will help to prevent heart disease, which is far easier than curing it once it has taken root in the body.
A Happy Heart
Most of us are aware of these important ways to maintain a healthy heart:
- Not Smoking
- Keeping a healthy weight
- Watching blood pressure
- Exercising regularly
Adding more colorful fruits and vegetables to your diet is also essential for maintaining a heart health and avoiding heart disease. Brightly colored fruits and vegetables are packed with potassium, fiber, and magnesium. These help to maintain healthy blood sugar levels and as well as blood pressure.
Fruits and vegetables that are rich in color also have high flavonoid content, the plant compounds that are responsible for the color in foods such as broccoli and oranges.
The following are some of the significant benefits of flavonoids and their relationship to the promotion of cardiac wellness:
- Flavonoids are catalysts for promoting antioxidant and anti-inflammatory actions in the body.
- Flavonoids guard against the oxidation of LDL-cholesterol, the “bad” cholesterol that can lead to heart disease.
- Flavonoids promote relaxation of the blood vessel walls, which helps to lower blood pressure.
In the recent study, the “Cancer Prevention Study II Nutrition Cohort”, researchers from the American Cancer Society and Tufts University looked into the ways in which flavonoid compounds added to the diet guard against heart disease.
The study focused on 60,289 women and 38,180 men, with average ages of 69 and 70. The researchers estimated the types and amounts of flavonoids for each participant, and for seven years, the researchers followed the participants, recording any deaths related to heart disease.
Overwhelmingly, the researchers found that the participants with the highest rates of flavonoids had the lowest risk of death from heart disease.
In particular, fatal heart disease risk was 18% lower in men and women who had the highest levels of flavonoids in their diets. Moreover, the likelihood of stroke decreased by 37% in men who had a high intake of flavonoids.
For women, flavonoids known as “flavones” were particularly beneficial. Those with a high flavone intake had 26% decrease in heart disease and a reduction of 40% in heart attack death. One researcher stated, “Even relatively small amounts of flavonoid-rich foods may be beneficial for reducing risk of fatal cardiovascular disease.”
For a healthy Heart, Add Color to Your Plate
Adding more flavonoids to your diet and decreasing your risk of heart disease is quite easy. Just fill your place with as much color as often as you can. Apples, strawberries, blueberries, red grapes oranges and even red wine are all packed with heart-healthy flavonoids.
A plate filled with a broad spectrum of color is a dish rich in flavonoids. As such, it’s also a plate that will do wonders for maintaining a healthy heart.