How You Can Improve Your Health With Flavanoids

flavanoidSubclasses of phytochemicals, flavanoids are compounds that protect the body from potentially harmful conditions like asthma, cardiovascular disease and cancer. There are over 4,000 unidentified flavanoids, most of which are found in colorful fruits, vegetables and beverages. It is believed that these flavanoids can positively benefit your health with their antioxidant, antiviral and anti-allergy properties.

Flavanoids Protect The Body

Flavanoids possess antioxidant-like capabilities that protect the body from the damaging effects of free radicals. Free radicals are naturally produced by the body, which can be produced in bigger numbers when you exercise. Other factors like cigarette smoking, job stress and pollution can also increase the production of free radicals in the body.

The problem is that free radical damage can lead to cancer. What flavanoids do is they interfere with the production of free radicals, preventing these disease-causing compounds from attaching themselves to the cells in the body.They can also reduce the risk of aging, atherosclerosis, inflammation and other neurodegenerative disease like Parkinson’s. There are split views on the benefits of flavanoids when it comes to athletic performance. Studies have shown that flavanoids do not only fight free radicals in the body; they can also be beneficial in promoting muscle growth. In turn, they are able to speed up recovery and improve endurance.

Flavanoids Has Many Benefits

A study that was published in the ‘International Journal of Sports and Exercise Metabolism’ showed that, in a six-week program of antioxidant supplementation, 11 elite athletes had a 3.1% improvement in the time needed to complete a 30-kilometer time trial, along with a 2% improvement over the last 5 kilometers. In another study published in the same journal, researchers at the University of Indiana showed that chocolate milk gave increased post-exercise recovery results for cyclists.

It might still be unclear how flavanoids relate to athletic performance; it is true that flavanoids are an important part of maintaining overall health. In turn, this will prepare the body better for training, increase energy and improve recovery.Researchers from the Cleveland Clinic support the use of flavanoids because of their antioxidant powers, ability to relax blood vessels, ability to reduce platelet activation, and their possible effect on balancing hormone-like compounds affecting cardiovascular health.

The best way to experience the benefits of flavanoids is by consuming various fresh and colorful foods. An individual who eats 5 cups of brightly colored fruits and vegetables every day will get an adequate intake of this phytochemical. Flavanoids can also be found in other foods and drinks like green tea and onions. Some of the richest sources of flavanoids include apple, blueberries, broccoli, cinnamon, grape juice, herbs, spices, hot pepper, soy, nuts (almonds, pistachios, pecans, hazelnuts), red wine, lemon, grapefruit and oranges. If you are craving for something a little sweeter that has a good amount of flavanoids, eat dark chocolate. Teeming with antioxidants, this tasty treat should give you a good dose of this phytochemical. Just make sure that you consume the healthy dark chocolate kind, and that you limit your portions. It would be best that you mix your chocolate intake with other food and beverages that contain flavanoids.

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