Flavonoids, nutrients derived from plants, are known for their powerful antioxidant properties and are recognized for helping prevent cancer, neurodegenerative disorders, and cardiovascular diseases. This is because aside from being great antioxidants, flavonoids also exhibit potent anti-carcinogenic actions and effective anti-inflammatory properties.
Were you aware that if you consume at least 50 milligrams of flavonoids per day, your risks of erectile dysfunction can decrease by as much as 30%? Recent studies about the numerous health benefits of flavonoids show that these phytonutrients can extraordinarily improve erectile function. We’ll tell you more about these amazing antioxidants.
Over ten thousand types of flavonoids have been identified so far, and researchers are constantly discovering new ways we can benefit from consuming flavonoid-rich foods. Aside from being powerful antioxidants, flavonoids also help modulate various important enzymatic activities.
Flavonoids are classified into six sub-groups, with each group having a different chemical structure. These sub-groups are flavanones, anthocyanins, flavones, isoflavones, flavan-3-ols, and flavonols. Among the thousands of identified flavonoids, some of the most popular are catechins, quercetin, apigenin, curcumin, and resveratrol.
Catechins are part of the reason why green tea is so widely recognized for its numerous health benefits. Quercetin is popular for its anti-inflammatory properties which is why it’s often used to treat prostate inflammation and gout.
Apigenin, on the one hand, helps reduce anxiety and improve mental health. Curcumin is the main antioxidant found in turmeric and is also recognized for its myriad of health benefits. The skin of red grapes is rich in resveratrol and this is one of the reasons why drinking red wine is good for you.
Amazing Health Benefits
Because there are literally thousands of flavonoids, their health benefits are truly numerous. Here are just a few:
Several studies have focused on how flavonoids benefit cardiovascular health, all of them with promising results. Regularly eating foods that have high concentrations of flavonoids has been shown to greatly reduce the risks of cardiovascular-related death by as much as 18%.
A high flavonoid consumption has also been shown to protect against hypertension. Those who ate foods that are rich in flavonoids had almost ten percent lower risks of developing hypertension compared to those who had minimal flavonoid consumption.
Flavonoids are also known to help protect against atherosclerosis, a condition wherein the blood vessels become hardened due to the building up of plaque in the blood vessel walls. Flavonoids help reduce oxidation of the blood vessel endothelium and inhibit the activities of the enzymes that cause increased production of oxidative compounds.
In addition, flavonoids also help reduce the inflammation of the walls of your blood vessels. These potent antioxidants also help reduce the formation of compounds that cause your blood vessels to become inflamed.
Flavonoids are also gaining attention for their protective effects on neurons. Various groups of scientists are researching how exactly flavonoids help protect against age-related brain degeneration such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
For instance, flavonoids derived from ginkgo biloba were shown to help alleviate the degeneration of the brain due to Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Flavonoids from citrus plants, on the one hand, were shown to help protect against Parkinson’s disease.
Due to their powerful antioxidant effects, flavonoids have been shown to aid chemoprevention by interacting with various enzymes and genes. What’s impressive is that scientists have discovered that the antioxidant actions of flavonoids interfere with the start, promotion, and progression of cancer.
For instance, flavonoids help inactivate carcinogenic substances in the body, block the proliferation of cancerous cells, and reduce overall oxidative stress. Flavonoids also assist in the repair of DNA materials that have been damaged due to oxidative stress.
Flavonoids are also known to induce the death of cancer cells. These beneficial phytonutrients also help prevent the formation of new blood vessels so that the cancerous cells won’t receive blood supply.
Flavonoids and Erectile Function
Among the numerous studies on the benefits of flavonoids, one study reported that erectile function may be improved by eating more flavonoid-rich fruits and veggies. And among the many types of flavonoids found in fruits and vegetables, flavones are the ones that are most beneficial for erectile function.
More than 300 men aged 18 to 40 years participated in the study. Of these, there were 86 men who exhibited erectile dysfunction. The results showed that those who had erectile dysfunction tended to have a lower intake of vegetables and fruits compared to those who did not have erectile dysfunction.
Those with erectile dysfunction also had a higher consumption of dairy and alcoholic drinks compared to those who were sexually healthy. In addition, the men with erectile dysfunction were older and tended to smoke more heavily than those who weren’t impotent.
According to the researchers, an additional serving of dairy increased risks of developing erectile dysfunction by more than 20%. However, the risks are increased even more dramatically when you consume an additional alcoholic drink every day. This can actually lead to an almost 50% increase in your risks of developing impotence.
On the other hand, when you consume more vegetables each week, you can lower your erectile dysfunction risks by 13%. Eating an additional serving of fruit daily can greatly reduce your risks by as much as 38%. If you increase your intake of flavonoids by even just 10 milligrams per day, you can reduce your erectile dysfunction risks by 7%.
Foods Rich in Flavonoids
Most fruits and vegetables contain high concentrations of flavonoids, they just differ based on which kind of flavonoids they contain. For instance, apigenin, a flavone, is commonly found in parsley, celery, and rutabagas. Kohlrabi and lettuce also contain apigenin, although in lesser concentrations.
When it comes to flavonols like quercetin and kaempferol, you can get a lot of these antioxidants from broccoli, onions, kale, hot peppers, and lettuce. Other excellent sources of flavonols include radish, sorrel, goji berries, fresh cranberries, and fresh capers.
If you’re looking for flavan-3-ols like catechins, broad beans and marrowfat peas are good sources. Of course, you can also simply drink your daily cup of green tea whenever you need a catechin boost. You can also get flavan-3-ols from dark chocolate, apples, peaches, apricots, and pecan nuts.
Some of the most excellent sources of anthocyanins include aronia, bilberries, and chickpeas. Currants, whether black or red, also contain high levels of anthocyanins. Grapes and other berries also contain anthocyanins.