flavonoids

  1. Flavonoids can prevent diabetes

    Know which nutrients can REALLY fight diabetes

    You can always count on the media to get it wrong.

    I'm sure you've seen the headlines that claim eating chocolate and drinking wine can help control blood sugar and prevent diabetes.

    Too good to be true?

    You bet it is -- because the study didn't really find that at all. What it found is that people who get the most flavonoids from their diet have lower insulin resistance and better blood sugar control.

    And with that, they may have a lower risk of diabetes.

    But the secret isn't wine and chocolate, as the headlines might lead you to believe. It's in two types of flavonoids in particular: flavones and anthocyanins.

    You'll find anthocyanins in berries, especially blackberries, blueberries and strawberries, while top sources of flavones include herbs such as parsley, thyme and oregano as well as celery and chili peppers.

    Tea is also a terrific (and delicious) source of flavonoids.

    That said, you will find some in both wine and chocolate -- but that doesn't mean you should load up on booze and candy bars.

    The problem with wine is the alcohol. A glass of wine every now and then probably won't hurt you, but a wine habit regular enough to be considered a source of nutrition -- even a moderate one -- will come with risks, including an increased risk of cancer and cognitive decline.

    Chocolate is a little better for you. It's not only a terrific source of flavonoids, it's also proven to be good for both the heart and brain -- and, despite the fact that it contains sugar, chocolate can even help to control blood sugar and prevent diabetes.

    But you won't get those benefits if you gobble down candy bar after candy bar. Stick to a small square or two of chocolate per day.

    Just bear in mind that the best way to get a wide range of these great nutrients isn't with a single food, but a wide variety of healthy foods -- especially brightly colored fruits and vegetables, since most of the healthy flavonoids come from pigments.

  2. Flavonoid rutin can prevent blood clots

    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.

  3. Dark chocolate for liver patients

    There's nothing sweet about cirrhosis, but a new study finds one treat that can help patients battling this debilitating condition.

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