What Are Flavonoids? Here’s Everything You Need to Know!
When you consider a plant, especially a fruit or vegetable, there are a surprising number of elements that comprise the different aspects of the plant. Sure, most of us have studied how chlorophyll turns sunlight into food for plants, but what about things like flavonoids? When you start doing a little research, you’ll find that there’s much more than meets the eye when it comes to what makes a fruit, vegetable, or even cannabis plant healthy for you.
What Are Flavonoids?
Pretty much all plants have flavonoids. This is especially true in fruits, vegetables, herbs, black and green teas, red wine, and beans. These flavonoids are a substance found naturally in food plants and other plants, like cannabis. The plant uses them to attract pollinating insects, UV protection, cell cycle inhibition, and nitrogen fixation.
One of the most distinguishing attributes of flavonoids is that they are a pigment and give the plant its color. So a general rule of thumb is the more colorful a food item is, the more flavonoids it has. They may also act as cell cycle inhibitors, physiological regulators, and chemical messengers.
Health Improvement Properties of Common Flavonoids
One of the many reasons health experts encourage you to eat lots of fruits and vegetables is to get an abundance of flavonoids in your diet. Various plants have characterized over 5,000 naturally occurring flavonoids. However, these flavonoids can be classified according to their chemical structure into six different subtypes. Your body breaks each flavonoid down in a different way, and each has its own ability to improve your health.
Flavanols have known anti-oxidant properties and may help manage cardiovascular disease symptoms and support blood vessel health. You’ll find plenty of these flavanols in grapes, apples, tea, cocoa, and red wine.
Flavones are a natural anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-allergen, anti-tumor, neuroprotective, antimicrobial, and cardioprotective. Parsley, peppermint, thyme, and celery are all great sources for these flavones.
Flavan-3-oils are highly rich in nutrients. They have been reported to improve hypertension, insulin resistance, and obesity brought on by bad eating habits. The best source for Flavan-3-oils is red wine, beer, berries, black soybeans, apples, and cacao beans.
Flavanones are strong antioxidants associated with a reduced risk of certain chronic diseases like specific kinds of cancer. They can also assist in the prevention of some cardiovascular disorders. Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, and lines carry large quantities of flavanones.
Isoflavones are another antioxidant with potential health benefits like protecting against age-related diseases such as osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, loss of cognitive function, and hormone-dependent cancer. Isoflavones are mainly found in soy and soy products.
Anthocyanins have anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and anti-cancer benefits and act as an antioxidant and fight free radicals. This flavonoid is what gives blue, red, and purple plants their delightful coloring. They can be found in numerous plants like kidney beans, pomegranates, grapes, tomatoes, elderberry, bilberry, and cherries.
An example of the power of a diet rich in flavonoids was a meta-analysis done in 2018. This study suggested that a high total intake of flavonoids correlated with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes. Furthermore, the study pointed to the main contributing subtypes of flavonoids for this reduced risk as the isoflavone, flavonols, flavan-3-oils, and anthocyanidins.
Foods High in Flavonoids
- Soybeans - Soybeans are the best source of isoflavones, and soybean products come in plenty of varieties like tofu, tempeh, and soy sauce.
- Citrus Fruits – Lemons, limes, oranges, and grapefruit are all high in flavanones. You get an even higher yield of the flavones if you juice these fruits.
- Berries - Blackberries are the best, but raspberries, cherries, and blueberries contain all six flavonoids.
- Red Cabbage - This vegetable can substitute for regular cabbage in many dishes and salads, and it is a significant source of anthocyanins.
- Kale - This excellent base for salads and soups is a wonderful source of flavanols. If you have trouble with the taste, throwing some kale in a fruit smoothie may do the trick.
- Onion - A great source of flavanols, this highly useful (yet often underrated) vegetable is a powerhouse of nutrition and adds flavor to many dishes.
- Parsley - Often overlooked, this humble herb provides more flavonols than any other food in the American diet. It’s also easy to sprinkle on just about any dish before serving.
- Tea - Teas are full of flavonoids, and green, black, and oolong teas contain very high amounts of flavanols.
- Red Wine - In moderation, red wine has multiple health benefits and is a tasty source of flavanols.
- Dark Chocolate - High in flavanols, this delicious treat is perfect for after dinner.
PharmaCBD Full Spectrum and Broad Spectrum (THC Free) CBD Products Include Flavonoids
Whenever hemp is processed to create hemp-based products, the first step is to extract the hemp oil from the rest of the plant material. We use only scientifically advanced methods to do this so that there is no trace of hydrocarbons or solvents in the final product.
This initial extracted hemp oil is full of high levels of CBD and other cannabinoids like CBG, CBN, and THC. One of the other substances extracted during this process is the healthful flavonoids from the hemp plant. Therefore, you can find flavonoids, cannabinoids, and terpenes from the hemp plant, all together in the initial hemp extract.
Now, we at PharmaCBD use this nutrient-rich compound in a number of our products, and we label those products “full spectrum.” So as you peruse our inventory and see the products labeled as full-spectrum, you know you are getting an entire host of terpenes and especially beneficial flavonoids in that product.
You may also notice products that are labeled as broad-spectrum or THC-free. These products contain the same robust hemp oil as you would find in our full spectrum products. However, we have taken an additional step to remove all traces of THC from the product.