Rooting for rutin

You hear a lot about the health benefits of flavonoids and how certain fruits and vegetables -- not to mention red wine and green tea -- are loaded with them.

But you don't often hear too much about the benefits of specific flavonoids.

I'm going to change that starting today, because we should get to know some of the flavonoids as well as we know the names of common vitamins.

They're that important.

So right now, let's take a look at a common flavonoid called rutin found in a wide range of seemingly unrelated fruits and vegetables, like apples and onions or citrus and asparagus.

Like I said, there are plenty of ways to get it -- just make sure you do get it, because cutting-edge research shows that this incredible flavonoid can prevent blood clots.

And that means it could help protect you from heart attacks and stroke -- two of the nation's leading causes of death.

Researchers from Beth Israel hospital say they reviewed some 5,000 different compounds for the elements that could block a protein involved in clot formation, and found that rutin was "the champion."

A series of tests on mice confirmed what the analysis had found -- a potentially powerful anti-clotting agent that's been all around us all along.

Isn't that always the case?

The research is obviously preliminary, but since other studies have found that rutin can boost circulation and stop platelets from clumping, the new study in the Journal of Clinical Investigation is consistent with what we already know.

And in addition to keeping your blood circulating, rutin may help with everything from hemorrhoids to varicose veins.

You can get more rutin -- and other flavonoids -- by simply making sure you eat plenty of fresh fruits and veggies every single day. It's also widely available as an inexpensive supplement.