A paper published in Neurology shows an association between eating food rich in flavonoids and brain health. Those who had higher flavonoid intake experienced less cognitive decline, such as memory loss and confusion, over a period of time. The study looks at data overtime for 49,493 women (1984 – 2006), and 27,842 men (1986 – 2002).
What are Flavonoids?
Flavonoids are chemical compounds found naturally in plants. Why do plants have them? According to an article from the Journal of Nutritional Science, vegetables use flavonoids “for their growth and defense against plaques.”
As we know more about the biochemical effects of flavonoids on humans, experts celebrate their anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, anti-mutagenic and anti-carcinogenic properties”. Studies also show an association between flavonoid consumption and a reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases.
As a result, researchers consider them an “indispensable component in a variety of nutraceutical, pharmaceutical, medicinal and cosmetic applications”.
Source of Flavonoids
Interested in adding more flavonoids to your diet? We provide a short list:
- blue berries
- peppers (sweet, green)
Digging Deeper: Types of Flavonoids
The USDA groups flavonoids into three categories: monomeric, polymeric proanthocyanidins and isoflavonesmonomeric. They offer separate databases for each. The study on brain health and flavonoids show the strongest association in 3 monomeric subclasses: flavones, flavanones, anthocyanins.