"An apple a day keeps the doctor away", I don't remember any longer when was the first time I heard that proverb, but now I guess I know where it comes from. Apples are rich in quercetin, a flavonol from the group of flavonoids, which where discovered in 1938 by the Hungarian scientist Albert Szent Byorgyi.
This type flavonoid is known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties but it has also many other benefits for our bodies. It isn't then strange that apples got such a good name and were known for its positive effects, but the question is, are those the only ones that contain flavonoids? Where else can we find flavonoids? Do flavonoids have any other benefits for our bodies?
Flavonoids are known to be very powerful antioxidants, and as such they avoid the degradation caused to body cells by the free radicals, therefore thought to be positive for our health. Flavonoids were also named vitamin P, but nowadays with the increase of studies in the field of flavonoids they are mostly simply known as flavonoids. It goes without saying that the use of vitamin P as a remedy for bleeding gums is widely known.
There are many herbs, fruits and aliments rich in flavonoids, among which we can mention green tea, onion, basil, lettuce, cranberry, spinach asparagus, soy, lime bean, basil, cayenne, coriander, peppermint, chamomile and anise. Green tea contains catechizes, another type of flavonoids.
It is important to realize that flavonoids are not always preserved. Food may, depending on the type of food and the way it’s prepared, loose part of the content of flavonoids , which will disappear after preparation.
There are also many herbal remedies using the benefits of herbs rich in flavonoids, also a lot of fruits, vegetables and beverages that contain flavonoids are used as possible solutions for very well known problems.
We should have a proverb similar to the apple one to cover the benefits of chocolate too, because cocoa is also rich in flavonoids, and these flavonoids in cocoa are the flavonoids responsible for the benefits attributed to chocolate. But not all chocolate is rich in flavonoids, as we said before the cocoa beans are the ones containing a big quantity of flavonoids and therefore dark chocolate, rich in cocoa concentration is the richest one in flavonoids.
If we think tea is rich in flavonoids we should mention that there are other types of flavonoids found in chocolate or more exactly in cocoa that haven't been found in tea. There are many different types of flavonoids in fruits, for example quercetin, the flavonoid found in apples, or more exactly on apple peals, is one of the flavonoids also used as an ingredient in supplements, certain types of aliments and drinks.
The flavonoid quercetin has reported to have also anti-inflammatory supplement. It is not very strange that many herbs and fruits are known to contain flavonoids because there are already more than 5000 different types of those ones found in nature. One of the benefits of the flavonoids that we can found in apples, the quercetin, are its anti-inflammatory properties.
Another curiosity about flavonoids refers to their function in the color of the aliments that contain flavonoids. Flavonoids are the responsible for the color of some fruits and vegetables rich in flavonoids.
Nutritionists recommend having a diet containing aliments rich in flavonoids rather than having an intake of dietary supplements to supply that element, which in general should contain the fruits, vegetables and beverages that are rich on flavonoids, but which fruits or drinks contain flavonoids? Well, there are plenty of them and we could start by naming those with a higher quantity of flavonoids.
The dark berries are known to be rich in flavonoids, as well the already mentioned apple, the strawberries and black tea or blue berries. It seems that those flavonoids found in berries may have a positive effect and protect against Parkinson's disease.
In prepared foods sometimes the content of flavonoids may be lower as those are refined by the companies in charge of its commercialization and some times reduced considerably, trying to avoid the bitter flavor that those flavonoids are giving to the food. It is even believed that the flavonoids contained in the blueberries may help to improve memory in elderly people.
If what we are looking for are drinks rich in flavonoids then we can choose grape juice, but of course we shall pay attention because maybe the content in sugar of those grape juices are to be taken into account. Another solution to obtain flavonoids from grapes will be to liquefy the juice ourselves and of course get rid that way of the additional added sugars.