The Benefits of Bioflavonoids Nature's Oldest Healers
The Benefits of Bioflavonoids
Nature's Oldest Healers
Everyone knows that eating lots of fruits and vegetables is a good idea. But it's not just because they're full of vitamins, minerals and fiber. It's also because they give you the benefits of bioflavonoids — the nutrients that give them their color and taste.
There are literally thousands of different bioflavonoids. Bioflavonoids, or flavonoids for short, make up a large class of antioxidants, thousands in all. They are part of an even larger group of plant chemicals called phytochemicals.
Phytochemicals (or phytonutrients) are plant chemicals that have protective or disease-preventive properties. They are nonessential nutrients, not required by the human body for sustaining life. That doesn't mean that they're not important! There are more than a thousand known phytochemicals, and an unknown number that have not yet been isolated.
There is still a lot we don't know about all of the possible benefits of bioflavonoids. We do know that plants produce these chemicals to protect themselves from harsh growing conditions, but recent research demonstrates that when consumed, they can also protect you against many diseases, especially heart disease and cancer. That's why it's important to get as many of them as possible by eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables.
A single fruit or vegetable can have dozens of different flavonoids. One reason there are so many flavonoids is that, typically, plants have many different flavonoids in them. Onions, for example, contain over 40 different flavonoids, including most of the ones I'll mention here. This again demonstrates that antioxidants are meant to work together.
In almost every circumstance, combinations of antioxidants are more effective than single antioxidants alone.
Systemic Benefits of Bioflavonoids
In general, all flavonoids are potentially useful as antioxidants, antivirals, and anti-inflammatories. Although flavonoids are not so-called network antioxidants, they do interact with the network — for example, they regenerate vitamin C, which in turn, regenerates vitamin E. They work together with vitamin C and help maximize its benefits. They also help raise your levels of glutathione, the most abundant antioxidant in your body.
General Health Benefits of Bioflavonoids
As noted above, all flavonoids are potentially useful as antioxidants, antivirals, and anti-inflammatories. These properties provide you with the specific potential benefits of bioflavonoids such as:
lower cholesterol level
stronger blood vessels
relief from asthma
relief from allergy symptoms
protection against cancer
protection against infections
protection against cavities
prevention of gum disease
improved liver function
improved brain function
relief from hemorrhoids
treatment and prevention of menstrual disorders
improved vision and prevention of eye diseases
removal of heavy metals from your body
Bioflavonoids have a long history of use.
Ancient medicine men, going back 5,000 years, have used flavonoid compounds to treat a wide variety of ailments. Many are still in use today.
Specific Examples of Bioflavonoids
Individual flavonoids are categorized in a variety of ways, sometimes overlapping categories. Although they are all structurally related, they do different jobs. Here are the most well-known flavonoids and some of their uses. Click on the text links to get more details on any specific one:
Anthocyanins — good for circulation, vision and brain function. Abundant in acai berries, goji berries, mangosteen and noni.
Hesperidin — an antiviral flavonoid and effective histamine-blocker; works in tandem with vitamin C.
Rutin — good for circulation, younger-looking skin and a host of of other benefits; works in tandem with vitamin C.
Quercetin — a powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, circulation booster and much more: works in tandem with vitamin C.
Curcumin — antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic nutrient; source of the spice turmeric.
The Benefits of Bioflavonoids: Natural Healing Since Antiquity