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Benefits of Flavonoids

Most fruits and vegetables contain flavonoids which are a group of phytonutrients. More than 600Benefits-of-Flavonoids0 different flavonoids each play a role in your health.

Their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties are the most well known health benefits of flavonoids. They have also been found to lower the risk of many chronic disorders and to detoxify the body.

The powerful bioactive compounds of flavonoids seem to improve many conditions. For example, researchers have found that women with the lowest levels of inflammation and insulin resistance, also had the highest intake of flavonoid anthocyanins and flavones.

Aedin Cassidy, Ph.D., a study author from the Norwich Medical School of the University of East Anglia, informed Reuters:

” Our population-based studies showed that higher regular intake of flavonoid anthocyanins which provide the red/blue color of berries and other fruits and vegetables, improve the handling of glucose and insulin, and therefore reduce inflammation which is a risk factor for diabetes and heart disease.”

Cassidy also said the study revealed that better control of blood sugar levels and blood pressure could be obtained by just one daily serving of flavonoid-rich berries.

Also, a systematic review of 14 studies published in the British Journal of Nutrition found that intake of all 6 classes of flavonoids, which are flavones, flavonols, flavanones, anthocyanidins, proanthocyanidins and flavan-3-ols, all decrease heart disease risk.

All plant foods, such as flavonoids are by far our major source of health-supporting phytonutrients. Fruits and vegetables have been studied and analyzed the most for their flavonoid content.

Flavonoid data on grains, beans and legumes, nuts and seeds, and certain other foods and beverages has also been collected.

References:

World’s Healthiest Foods, Flavonoids
The Journal of Nutrition January 20, 2014
Reuters January 29, 2014

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Spicing Up Low Fat Meals

Healthy foods have been known to have a bit of a bland taste to them and that is because we have so many foods with additives in them. This means when you are offered the choice of having something without a lot of flavor, as opposed to something with lots of flavor, most people will choose to have flavor and plenty of it.

If only the taste of healthy foods were more appealing then maybe everyone would pick to eat healthier, more often. Some people might think there is no hope but the solution is very simple and is located in most of our kitchens. The solution is adding herbs and spices to help change the taste of the food.

Herbs and spices can take bland food and make it a very enjoyable dish and there has even been research to prove that it can helplow-fat-meals consumers eat less. Herbs and spices have zero calories and this means you won’t overeat in the calorie department.

Spicy foods in general have been said to fill you up faster and cause you to eat less than you normally would. So, that means you can eat tastier healthy foods, without any extra calories, and can possibly lose weight from eating less of it. That sounds like a win to me!

So, you are probably wondering how to go about adding herbs and spices to your healthy foods. It is actually based on taste preference. Some flavor combinations will be a hit or a miss, depending on the individual so it is wise to play around with them and see just what tastes good to you.

Here are some examples to get you started:

  • Give those plain veggies a new attitude with some lemon juice, pepper, garlic, and some rosemary
  • Make that turkey burger taste like a beef burger by adding some pasta sauce, garlic, basil, and oregano
  • If you are making chili and you need some more kick, add chili powder, garlic, oregano, paprika, and thyme
  • Start you day with a smile by adding some cinnamon and some vanilla extract to your oatmeal
  • If you are eating carrots, sweet potatoes, or squash, try adding some cinnamon, ginger, and olive oil

Keep in mind that these combinations don’t have to be tried all at once. Maybe one spice or herb will be just enough for you at a time but the key is to have fun with it and in the process, your body will be getting the nutrients it needs.

And remember, some spices such as cinnamon also lower blood glucose levels as well.

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