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Flavonoids, A natural, common but an unknown ingredient of life!!!

Updated on December 13, 2014

What are flavonoids?

Flavonoids are the natural compounds belonging to the large family of plants. They are also called bioflavonoids. Once there was a time when they were known as vitamin P, but they did not fulfilled the actual definition of the vitamin so the term was snatched from them.


Main Sources:

Flavonoids are almost present in each fruit and vegetable, but in different concentrations. Depending upon the amounts there are flavonoids rich and flavonoids poor fruits and vegetables. Apples, Cannelloni beans, Apricots, Blueberries are the richest sources of flavonoids.

Citrus bioflavonoids.

Citrus fruits such as lemons, limes, grape fruits, strawberries and oranges contains a large amount of flavonoids in them.They are necessary for the proper absorption of vitamin C prolonging and enhancing its actions. Flavonoids levels are highest in ripe, fresh-picked fruit. If they are picked unripe or they were in storage for a long time, their health benefits will be lower.

In vegetables.

Some vegetables like Garlic, Sweet peppers or bell peppers, Green peppers, Brussels sprouts, Cabbage, Broccoli, Onion, Spinach, Carrots, Cucumber, Lettuce, Tomato consists of rich flavonoids. In-fact Brussels sprouts and Red peppers consists of 3 times more vitamin C then orange juice and citrus fruits. Raw bell peppers are an effective way to get bioflavonoids into the system.

Role of Flavonoids in Human Health:

Flavonoids do such a good job in human immune system. They act as Anti viral, Anti oxidants, Anti inflammatory, Anti carcinogenic, as a Vascular protector and much more.

Flavonoids and Enzymes:

Flavonoids stops the activity of some enzymes that are not good for body. For example there is an enzyme HIV-1 proteinase which is responsible for the processing and replication of HIV-1 virus which causes AIDS, so inhibiting the work of this enzyme flavonoids stops AIDS, which is almost a non-curable disease. Use richest source of flavonoids such as coffee.

Effects of flavonoids as Anti-carcinogenic:

Flavonoids that are present in chocalates and citrus fruits shows anti cancer properties thus opening a wide range of naturopathy.

Flavonoids effects in Cardiovascular diseases:

Tea is an unusual "food", not classified as "fruit or vegetable" and contains a high amount of flavonoids. Tea flavonoids reduces the risk of CHD (Coronary Heart Disease).

Flavonoids in Gastrovascular activity:

Flavonoids plays an important role in the gastro-vascular disorders. About ninety five flavonoids are known for maintaining the gastro-vascular activity. Mulberry is the chief source of flavonoids here acting against the gastro-vascular disorders.

Flavonoids as an Anti-oxidant:

An abundant intake of antioxidants from the diet may help our body to protect against harmful effects of pollution, UV light, cigarette smoke and radiations caused by free radicals so flavonoids stops the different and harmful mechanisms going inside our body thus acting as an anti oxidant. Soy beans, almonds, cherries shows the anti oxidant activity.

Flavonoids as an anti-inflammatory:

Inflammation is not a disease in fact it's a body response to some pathogenic attack or infection causing swelling,burning,itching and sometimes pain too. Flavonoids have a powerful anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effect. Coffee is a good source of such flavonoids that provides anti-inflammatory actions.

Flavonoids effect in Diabetes:

Flavonoids are capable of improving, stabilizing and long sustaining the insulin secretion, human islets and pancreatic secretion. In simple it controls the glucose level of blood efficiently.

Apple is one of the richest source of flavonoids and it effectively works for diabetes.

Flavonoids acting as an Anti viral:

About 11 different kinds of flavonoids are known for showing anti viral activity. Onions and Cran berries are the major sources of anti viral flavonoids.

For defensing the natural cells in the body:

Flavonoids improves our immune system by guarding the different kinds of white blood cells like neutrophil cells. Furthermore they are involved anti toxic, hepatoprotective (tissue protection) activities.

Role against Mental diseases:

Dementia, Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease are degenerative diseases which are becoming more common with aging population. A few epidemiological studies have shown that moderate consumption of wine has a protective effect against dementia. Wine contains flavonoids called antocyanins and catechins showing effective results that are not showed by beers, thus pointing to an effect of flavonoids.

Sub-classes of flavonoids:

Flavonoids are of different types and are usually classified into several sub-classes according to their chemical steucture.These are as follow:

  • Flavanol,
  • Flavones,
  • Flavanones,
  • Catechins,
  • Anthocyanins,
  • Isoflavone.

Each class of flavonoid has its own importance in different fruits and vegetables,you can take them by different diet plans maintaining the servings.These are depicted as in tables.

Flavanol:

Food
Flavonol, (mg/serving)
Flavanol, (mg/100g food)
Yellow onion
36-120
35-120
Curly cale
60-120
30-60
Leek
6-45
3-22.5
Cherry tomato
3-40
1.5-20
Broccoli
8-20
4-10
Tomato
0.4-3
0.2-1.5
Apple
4-8
2-4
Black tea infusion
6-9
3-4.5
Green tea infusion
4-7
2-3.5
Black grape
3-8
1.5-4
Blueberry
3-16
3-16
Source : google

The greener the leaf, the more it contains flavonol.

Flavones:

Food
Flavones, (mg/serving)
Flavones, (mg/100g food)
Parsely
1.2-9.2
24-185
Celery
4-28
2-14
Capsicum pepper
0.5-1
0.5-1
Source: Google

In some plants flavones is found to exert anti-tumor properties.

Flavanones:

Food
Flavanones, (mg/serving)
Flavanones, (mg/100g food)
Orange juice
40-140
21.5-68.5
Grape fruit
20-130
10-65
Lemon juice
10-60
5-30
Source: Google.

Flavanones are present in many herbs and roots but among all the plant kingdom the species in which it is founded most commonly is citrus.

Catechins:

Food
Catechins, (mg/serving)
Catechins, ( mg/100g food)
Chocolate
23-30
46-61
Beans
70-110
35-55
Apricot
20-50
10-25
Cherry
10-44
5-22
Grape
6-35
3-17.5
Peach
10-28
5-14
Apple
20-86
10-43
Red Raspberry
2-48
2-48
Strawberry
2-50
2-50
Blackberry
9-11
9-11
Green tea
20-160
10-80
Blact tea
12-100
6-50
Red wine
8-30
8-30
Cider
8
4
 
 
 
 
 
 
Source: Google.

Chocolate, Red wine and Tea are the good sources of catechins.

Anthocyanins:

Food
Anthocyanins, (mg/serving)
Anthocyanins(mg/100g food)
Aubergine
1500
750
Blackberry
100-400
100-400
Black currant
130-400
130-400
Blue berry
25-500
25-500
Black grape
60-1500
30-750
Cherry
70-900
35-450
Rhubarb
200
200
Strawberry
30-150
15-75
Red wine
20-35
20-35
Red cabbage
50
25
Plum
4-50
2-25
Source: Google

Anthocyanins are the most abundant type of flavonoid. They may be of violet, blue, red, and purple colors.

Isoflavones:

Food
Isoflavones, (mg/serving)
Isoflavones, (mg/100g food)
Differenr types of soy cheeses
3.2-15.7
6.4-31.3
Low fat soy flour
99
131.2
Full fat soy flour
133
177.9
Soy baen
120-190
59.8-145
Tofu, fresh (soft or firm)
22.6-31.1
22.6-31.1
Tofu, fried
48.4
48.4
Source: Google.

This group is the most bioavailable of all flavonoids. These are important for reducing the blood cholestrol.

Finally:

  • Prefer raw form rather than processed one.
  • Be careful in choosing the fruits and vegetables.
  • Overall look for the green and ripe ones.

This is not the ending of importance of flavonoids, there is much more to discuss. The conclusion is "Flavonoids are not wastes of the plants", as they were considered so!!!

They are not important in human life but also shows a great range of functions in the plants also. By maintaining the diet with such flavonoids rich fruits and vegetables one can remain immune to different kinds of lethal diseases.


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    • Nigham AFZAL profile image
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      Nigham 3 years ago from Pakistan.

      Hello cecileportilla... Thank you... :)

    • cecileportilla profile image

      Cecile Portilla 3 years ago from West Orange, New Jersey

      Hi Nigham AFZAL:

      Good article on Flavonoids. Voted up!

    • Nigham AFZAL profile image
      Author

      Nigham 3 years ago from Pakistan.

      @ Bethperry...Thank you... :)

      @ Father... Its something more then Thank you... :)

    • profile image

      Father 3 years ago

      May ALLAH SUBHANATALA bless you and give more power to serve for knowledge..........

    • bethperry profile image

      Beth Perry 3 years ago from Tennesee

      A very useful Hub on the subject!

    • Nigham AFZAL profile image
      Author

      Nigham 3 years ago from Pakistan.

      Thank you...YogaKat... :)

    • YogaKat profile image

      YogaKat 3 years ago from Oahu Hawaii

      Excellent research! Welcome to HubPages.

    • Nigham AFZAL profile image
      Author

      Nigham 3 years ago from Pakistan.

      ChitrangadaSharan : You know what? Ma'am...I was talking about this... "Appreciation"... :) Thanks a lot... :)

    • Nigham AFZAL profile image
      Author

      Nigham 3 years ago from Pakistan.

      @ Purifylife...Thank you :)

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 3 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Wonderful information about Flavonoids!

      I have heard about it but not so much in detail. Thanks for sharing a well researched hub.

      Welcome to HubPages and thanks for the Follow!

      Wish you great times ahead!

    • purifylife profile image

      Kimberly 3 years ago from Ohio

      Thanks for the great article regarding these important nutritional compounds!

    • Nigham AFZAL profile image
      Author

      Nigham 3 years ago from Pakistan.

      Welcome... Toytasting... :)

    • Toytasting profile image

      Toy Tasting 3 years ago from Mumbai

      It was great to know so much about Flavonoids. Thanks for sharing the information. :)

    • Nigham AFZAL profile image
      Author

      Nigham 3 years ago from Pakistan.

      ALLAH ka shukar hy... Ap sunao? Sab theek hy? Abhi bhi Pakistan may ho? (Still in Pakistan?)...

    • Nigham AFZAL profile image
      Author

      Nigham 3 years ago from Pakistan.

      Thank you Zanab :)

    • Hummingbird5356 profile image

      Hummingbird5356 3 years ago

      No, unfortunately not. I have been too busy but I hope to find a teacher soon. Aap kaisey hey?

    • Hummingbird5356 profile image

      Hummingbird5356 3 years ago

      Excellent article.

    • profile image

      Zanab Anum 3 years ago

      well done (y)

      Great job :)

    • Nigham AFZAL profile image
      Author

      Nigham 3 years ago from Pakistan.

      Thanks Aneesh!

      ... Sure thing... :) ... 'd like your support too... :)

    • profile image

      Aneesh Zahra 3 years ago

      Awesumest article ever seen .. sister u looks more talented keep polish urs talent and move up....:) (Y)

    • Nigham AFZAL profile image
      Author

      Nigham 3 years ago from Pakistan.

      Thanks Jiya!... won't disappoint you...INSHA ALLAH... :)

    • profile image

      jiya khan 3 years ago

      great job sis (y) I am very pleased with your article and continue to make new articles again,,,,,, keep it up (y) (y)