The Biological Roles of Flavonoids

The Biological Roles of Flavonoids

If you've recently heard about flavonoids, but don't know what they do, you're not alone. To many casual readers, these nutritional elements sound like some kind of science-fiction invention. In truth, flavonoids play a vital role in the development of fruits, vegetables and other plant foods, and have some specific health benefits for you if you're focusing on a plant food-based diet.

Flavonoids in Plants

Flavonoids help the plants that give us our daily produce, first, by giving fruits and vegetables ranging from berries to peppers the pigments they need to produce bright colors that attract us to them. They also help to protect plants from insects and fungi. Flavonoids are natural pesticides that help in the development of all kinds of plants. These crucial ingredients make their way into the human diet through fruits and vegetables, as well as derivative products like tea, wine and other plant-based drinks.

Flavonoids in Human Diets

Although the science is still being studied around what flavonoids do for the body, some nutritionists believe they are responsible for introducing a lot of the powerful antioxidants that help the body fight off disease and stay healthy. Flavonoids have been claimed to be effective against cancers and some forms of heart disease. Some scientists say they boost the immune system as well.

There is a debate going on about how much antioxidant value can be linked to flavonoids as opposed to some of the classical vitamins and minerals that plant foods also contain. The class of flavonoids or bioflavonoids represents a kind of plant secondary metabolytes that nutritional scientists are looking at to examine just how fresh fruits and vegetables supply humans with superior nutrition.

In addition, some scientists are saying that not much of the health value of flavonoids is provided by these elements on their own. They claim that for the best metabolic intake, people need to eat the fresh fruits and vegetables directly, with all of the fibers and other nutrients they contain in raw or fresh unprocessed forms. Otherwise, say some food researchers, flavonoids are just excreted by the body.

Looking at flavonoids is part of the bigger picture on the best weight loss and fitness diets around. What most scientists and nutrition experts agree on is that you're best off eating fresh fruits and vegetables, a lot of them. If you look at your overall diet, the more you push meats, cheeses and processed foods off of your plate and substitute them with fruits and vegetables, the healthier you'll be, although the role of proteins is one exception to this rule. Talk to your doctor before going ahead with any modification to your diet plan. With consultation from qualified medical professionals, you'll see how "green foods" can effectively boost your overall health and contribute to a good diet plan, with flavonoids as well as a variety of other natural nutrition.