Know About The Flavanol Antioxidants Dark Chocolate

flavanol antioxidantsPlants produce thousands of substances called phytochemicals, and the flavanol antioxidants dark chocolate are just one of these phytochemicals. Flavonols have the advantage of being better researched than the other phytochemicals. Just like most of the phytochemicals, flavonols are active antioxidants that may protect your health with their ability to fight inflammation as well as neutralize the harmful free radicals. Read on and learn more about this phytochemical and a yummy treat where you can get a good dose of this from.

Role of Flavanol Antioxidants

As with many antioxidants, one of the flavanol antioxidants benefits is it promote health by aiding the body in dealing with the presence of free radicals. Basically, they inhibit the ability of the free radicals to trigger the negative changes in the chemistry of the body. These types of antioxidants are also attributed with helping to prevent blood clots. There is also some evidence that the compounds can be very helpful when it comes to reducing the level of bad cholesterol (or LDL) in the bloodstream.

List of Flavanols

Scientists have identified and classified over 8,000 phytochemicals, and one of the biggest groups is flavanonoids. This group is large enough that it is further classified into several other groups. Flavonols are just one of the groups in the flavonoid family. You might have heard about the 4 major phytochemicals that belong in the flavonols group, which are kaempferol, isorhamnetin, myricetin and quercetin. According to studies, flavonols are the most abundant flavonoids found in foods.

Antioxidant Potential

Flavonols exhibit strong antioxidant abilities in laboratory studies. A review of research showed that quercetin offers anti-inflammatory benefits to cells from human blood vessels. The free radical levels in damaged lung cells decreased when they were treated in quercetin, according to a 2013 study. Researchers using laboratory mice reported that the antioxidant effect of quercetin helped prevent nerve damage caused by a medication used to treat colorectal cancer.

Bioavailability of Flavonols

The limited bioavailability of flavonols, which refers to the amount of phytochemical absorbed and used by the body, impacts their effectiveness. Only a small amount of most flavonols is absorbed before it is quickly eliminated from the body. Your ability to absorb flavonols depends on the type of bacteria thriving in your large intestine, as they help metabolize flavonoids. Quercetin is more easily absorbed than other flavonoids. You can improve their bioavailability of flavonols by eating them with health fats.

Dark Chocolate Flavonols

There is good news if you are a chocoholic. You do not have to feel guilty when you enjoy in your favorite dessert treat. In fact, you can feel right down virtuous, for as long as you choose your chocolat wisely and eat it in moderation. Studies shown that chocolate flavanols in dark chocolate have some surprising health benefits. What benefits does chocolate have?

• The flavonols in chocolate are teeming with antioxidants that help protect cells from damage – but this is not their only benefit. When you eat moderate amounts of dark chocolate flavonols, it causes the body to produce more nitric oxide. Nitric oxide has a powerful effect on the blood vessels, causing them to dilate and let more blood reach the heart and brain. One recent study showed that foods high in flavonols improve the heart function during exercise.

• Chocolate flavanols have benefits for aging skin as well. Studies show that they help to protect your skin against the harsh effects of UV light, which is the number one cause of skin damage and aging. It is the antioxidant powder of flavanols that cleans up free radical damage and keeps skin looking young.

Now that you know that chocolate is good for you, it is important that you choose one that is rich in flavanols. However, when eating dark chocolate for its health benefits, you need to be selective. There are some chocolates that only have a few flavanols because they are destroyed during the processing. The average chocolate bar in your grocery store will do nothing your skin and blood vessels.

Other Sources of Flavonol

Flavonol content in foods is mostly reported as a range because the amount that they contain is influenced by sunlight exposure. For instance, the flavanol content is higher in the skin of fruit as well as in the outer leaves of greens because they absorb more sunlight. Yellow onions are the best sources of flavonols. Yellow onions are great sources of flavonols, followed by cherry tomatoes, leeks, blueberries and broccoli. Other good sources of adding flavonols to your diet include apples, apricots, tomatoes, green beans and black grapes. If you enjoy red wine, green tea or black tea, you also get flavonols.

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