Researchers say foods rich in flavonoids, can reduce your risk of having cancer and heart disease.
Flavonoids are a diverse group of plant chemicals found in almost all fruits and vegetables. Along with carotenoids, they are responsible for the vivid colors in fruits and vegetables.
According to Louis Premkumar, a professor of pharmacology at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine and author of “Fascinating Facts about Phytonutrients in Spices and Healthy Food” (Xlibris, 2014), Onions, tea, strawberries, kale, grapes, Brussels sprouts, citrus fruit, parsley, and many spices are just a few natural foods rich in flavonoids.
The research indicated that consuming 500 milligrams of flavonoids per day reduced the risk of disease.
An apple a day could help keep cancer and heart disease away.
And the same applies to other foods, such as green tea, that are rich in flavonoids. These are plant nutrients known to reduce inflammation and act as potent antioxidants.
People who ate more flavonoid-rich foods were less likely to die of cancer and heart disease than those who ate fewer such foods, according to a new report published in the journal Nature CommunicationsTrusted Source.
The protective effects of flavonoids are particularly strong for people who heavily use alcohol or smoke, according to the study led by researchers from Edith Cowan University in Australia.
The findings come from an analysis of the diets consumed by more than 53,000 Danish people over a 23-year period.
Nicola Bondonno, PhD, a postdoctoral research fellow at Edith Cowan University and a lead researcher of the study, says the findings should encourage people to eat more fruits and vegetables, especially if they have a high risk for cancer or heart disease.
Past research estimates 7.8 million people worldwide die prematurely each year due to low fruit and vegetable consumption. That’s defined as eating less than 800 grams total per day.
“The best thing to do for your health is to not smoke and cut down on alcohol,” Bondonno told Healthline. “But these kind of lifestyle changes can be challenging, so encouraging flavonoid consumption might be a novel way to alleviate the increased risk while also encouraging people to quit smoking and reduce their alcohol intake.”