Flavonoids are a type of phytonutrient, which is a chemical that helps a plant maintain its health. Flavonoids are found in fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Phytonutrients, including flavonoids, can help humans improve and maintain their health when eaten, too.
Flavonoids Are Powerful Health Boosters
Flavonoids are the phytonutrients that help give fruits and vegetables their vivid colors. They act as powerful antioxidants for our bodies when we consume them, helping to combat cell aging and death. There are over 6000 flavonoids that scientists have identified so far.
Researchers are learning more all the time about the many ways that flavonoids and other phytochemicals can help improve humans’ health.
Flavonoids Can Help Protect Women Against Depression
In a recent study, researchers followed 82,643 women for 10 years. The women, aged 36-80, had no previous history of depression. Their diets were evaluated every few years as well as whether they were diagnosed with depression or prescribed anti-depressants (Shun-Chiao Chang, 2016).
The results of the study showed that consuming flavonoids regularly was associated with a significantly lower risk of the development of depression, especially in women over 65.
More studies are necessary to further define how and why flavonoids are protective against depression in women.
How to Boost Your Flavonoid Intake
In the study, the researchers found the strongest decrease in depression risk when the women ate high amounts of flavones such as citrus and citrus juices, apples, and celery. Decreased depression risks were also noted for those who ate higher amounts of proanthocyanidins, found in apples, grapes, and chocolate.
- Shun-Chiao Chang, A. C. (2016, July 13). Dietary flavonoid intake and risk of incident depression in midlife and older women. Retrieved from The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: DOI: 10.3945/ajcn.115.124545.