Senior Health Bioflavonoids in Your Diet: What, Why, and How 8/5/2022 | By Densie Webb Dietitian Densie Webb of Environmental Nutrition looks at bioflavonoids: what they are, how they affect health, and the best ways to include them in a daily diet – including bioflavonoid supplements. A wide variety of fruits, vegetables, and beverages are rich in one of the most complex groups of naturally occurring compounds found in foods. Known as bioflavonoids, or simply flavonoids, more than 8,000 different types have been identified with even more likely to be discovered in the future. They include isoflavonoids, flavanones, flavonols, flavanols, flavones and anthocyanidins. Bioflavonoids and health Foods rich in bioflavonoids include celery, parsley, herbs, peppers, berries, pomegranates, plums, red wine, grapes, citrus fruits, soybeans, legumes, onions, leeks, Brussels sprouts, kale, broccoli, tea, beans, apples, and cocoa. Diets that regularly include these bioflavonoid-rich foods have been associated with longevity and a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, some types of cancer, and neurogenerative diseases. Research suggests that the ability of these substances to reduce the risk of several diseases is due to their ability to reduce inflammation, boost the body’s immune response, and to scavenge harmful free radicals. Their protective qualities are the reason they are produced by plants – self-protection against environmental insults. Supplements or food Bioflavonoid supplements are available in a wide range of combinations and dosages. Many of these supplements come from oranges, but it’s not always possible to know the exact source or which bioflavonoids you’re getting in a supplement. A label may simply say “bioflavonoids,” without listing the specific ones the supplement contains. Most common are bioflavonoids paired with vitamin C. That’s because vitamin C enhances their absorption. There are quite a few supplements of individual bioflavonoids, such as hesperidin, quercetin, and catechins. However, if you eat a diet rich in these substances, you should get plenty, as well as vitamin C to aid absorption. Bioflavonoid absorption and bioavailability depends on several factors besides being coupled with vitamin C. A healthy balance of good bacteria in the intestinal tract may also improve absorption. On the other hand, studies have shown that high levels of protein in the diet may decrease their availability. It would be virtually impossible to take enough supplements to get all the thousands of bioflavonoids found naturally in foods. Instead, make bioflavonoid-rich foods a regular part of your daily diet and you’ll get the amazing array of these dietary gems plus absorption-enhancing vitamin C. Related: Eat these 5 foods to add protein to your diet Are you eating this inexpensive, healthy, low-cal vegetable? Environmental Nutrition is the award-winning independent newsletter written by nutrition experts dedicated to providing readers up-to-date, accurate information about health and nutrition in clear, concise English. For more information, visit www.environmentalnutrition.com. © 2022 Belvoir Media Group, LLC. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC. Read More Densie Webb Densie Webb, Ph.D., R.D., a registered dietitian, has been writing about food, nutrition, and health for over 15 years. She is the author and editor of eight books, the associate editor for environmentalnutrition.com, and a regular writer for the American Botanical Council. Related Resources Welcome Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids Finally, hearing aids have become more affordable. Seniors Guide looks at the advent of over-the-counter hearing aids. There is no ... [Read More] 8/5/2022 | By Kari Smith Finding Time to Exercise is Easier Than You Think Finding time to exercise is easier than you think. Read on for some great practical tips on how to fit ... [Read More] 8/5/2022 | By Howard LeWine, M.D.