Flavonoids, a subclass of polyphenols, are a group of phytochemicals that are among the most potent and abundant antioxidants in our diet. The flavonoids are further divided into subclasses based on slightly different chemical structures. Although more than 4000 flavonoids have been identified, several appear to be important components of many fruits and vegetables. These flavonoids are listed below after the subclass under which they fall.
FLAVONOLS: myricetin and quercetin
FLAVONES: apigenin and luteolin
FLAVANONES: hesperetin and naringenin
FLAVAN-3-OLS: catechin, epicatechin, epicatechin gallate, epigallocatechin, epigallocatechin gallate
ANTHOCYANIDINS: cyanidin, delphinidin, malvidin, pelargonidin, peonidin
Check out the USDA database at www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/ to find out the amounts of various flavonoids in select foods and beverages.
FLAVONOIDS AND DISEASE PREVENTION
- May lower risk for cardiovascular disease (refs. 35-40)
- May lower risk of several types of cancer (refs. 41-62)
- May promote lung health and protect against asthma (refs. 63-66)
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