What are flavonoids? Albert Szent-Györgyi, a Hungarian researcher who won the Nobel Prize in Medicine for his research on vitamin C and cofactors, proposed the term "vitamin P for these remarkable, bioactive, protective cofactors and later named them.
What are flavonoids? Albert Szent-Gy?i, a Hungarian researcher who won the Nobel Prize in Medicine for his research on vitamin C and cofactors, proposed the term "vitamin P" for these remarkable, bioactive, protective cofactors and later named them bioflavonoids.
We now call them flavonoids. Dr. Szent-Gy?i demonstrated that flavonoids increase uptake of vitamin C into the liver, kidneys and adrenal glands. Furthermore, flavonoids are water-soluble and pack a ferocious punch against free radicals. They also boost cellular levels of reduced glutathione, the strongest antioxidant inside the human cell, slowing down age-related diseases.
Flavonoids Come in Many Names
Flavonoids are also called "bioflavonoids" or "flavonols." There are many fascinating sub-names based on plant origin, colour, taste and disease-preventing capabilities.
Flavonoids are made up of thousands of plant compounds that give vegetables, nuts, seeds, fruits, herbs, flowers, barks of trees and shrubs, leaves, marine algae and plants their amazing variety of colours. They bring the scarlet, red, orange and yellow to leaves in the fall, blue to blueberries, green to wheatgrass, red to beets and yes, dark brown to chocolate!
John D. Folts, PhD, professor of medicine at the University of Wisconsin, demonstrated that flavonoids act like "non-stick coating" in the bloodstream, preventing strokes and heart attacks. They also prevent initiation or promotion of cancer and are powerful detoxifiers of cellular debris.
The most potent flavonoid researched so far has been the green pigment in plants called chlorophyll. This is why a "green drink" daily is so beneficial for you.
Eat Enough Flavonoids Two Grams a Day
Flavonoids work synergistically. Two or more are stronger than any one alone. I suggest you include 18 different colours in your daily food choices. Thinking in terms of a single "magic bullet" is rapidly becoming obsolete.
"People who eat a really good diet might get up to a gram of flavonoids a day," says Dr. Elliott Middleton, MD, professor of medicine at the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Medicine. "That's good to provide a significant flavonoid concentration in the body, but you could do even better, say two grams, by choosing colourful, disease-protective flavonoid-rich foods." It's easy to do. Just eat six full cups of vegetables and/or salads a day and two full cups of fruit, one cup being dark berries, such as blueberries or blackberries. "There is a mighty legion of things these flavonoids do, including boosting immunity, repairing brain cells, inhibiting cancer, preventing hardening of the arteries, and maybe even slowing down the aging process," says Dr. Middleton.
Flavonoids do not appear in synthetic, pre-packaged convenience foods or fast foods that taste good, look good and smell good but are deadly!
Dr. James Joseph, researcher on aging at Tufts University in Boston, admits he started adding one cup of blueberries to his morning protein shake after he saw his own research on proanthocyanidin flavonols in dark berries. "Their deep pigmentation restores and maintains youthful brain membrane fluidity and function by increasing the vitality hormone dopamine, as well as increasing our average life span," he says.
Herbal Flavonoids: Candidates for a Starring Role
Dr. Lester Packer of the Membrane Bioenergetics Group at the University of California at Berkeley summarizes flavonoids as "brain boosters repairing the brain's aged and damaged blood-brain barrier, stabilizing membrane phospholipids [smart] and slowing glycation [AGEs] that make brain proteins gooey and dysfunctional." Flavonoids have potent antioxidant capabilities. Herbal extracts such as full-spectrum grape extract, Siberian ginseng, European bilberry, milk thistle, Japanese green tea and ginkgo biloba raise tissue, organ, gland and especially liver levels of reduced glutathione to keep our 100 trillion cells disease-free and healthy. Dr. Packer calls these six herbs the glutathione-flavonoid sub-network of antioxidants.
Herbal Flavonoids: Anti-Aging Powerhouses
Herbs and spices contain some of the most powerful antioxidant flavonoids known. They have been used since ancient times as preservatives and medicines. Japanese researchers recently discovered rosemary is a more powerful antioxidant than BHT or any other synthetic chemical commonly used to preserve food. Sage and full-spectrum grape extract protect the delicate brain fat called DHA, the "smart" omega-3 essential fatty acid. Extracts of saw palmetto, pygeum and stinging nettle alleviate symptoms of benign prostate enlargement and with lycopene-prevent prostate cancer.
I use three drops of wild oil of oregano and two drops of oil of rosemary in my salad dressings, combined with fresh lemon juice, herbs, extra virgin olive oil and a salt-free, all natural herbal seasoning. Outrageously delicious! Why not colour your world with natural protection and let pure flavonoid power work for you?