A group of people enjoying fresh foods during a summer cookout

What if there was something that you already do several times a day that, with just a few tweaks, could help improve your health, wellness and memory? Research shows that eating flavonoid-rich foods could help protect your brain and even help with other areas of your overall well-being. In fact, you may be eating a lot of flavonoid-rich foods already and not even know it. If you’re asking yourself, “What are flavonoids?” and “What foods are high in flavonoids?” this blog post can help. It will define flavonoids, discuss their benefits and show you what foods contain flavonoids. 

Benefits of Flavonoids

Flavonoids is a term for a group of potent natural antioxidants found in plants. There are six types of flavonoids: anthocyanidins, flavan-3-ols, flavonols, flavanones, flavones and isoflavones. Flavonols are the type of flavonoids most common in our diets. Foods high in flavonoids can help: 

  • Manage high blood pressure 
  • Lower your risk of heart attack or stroke and decrease your risk of type 2 diabetes
  • Decrease your risk of getting certain cancers
  • Fight inflammation
  • Keep blood vessels healthy 
  • Increase the production of chemicals that repair brain cells, strengthen their connections, promote new brain cell growth, and enlarge the size of your hippocampus

 

Flavonoid-Rich Foods

These 10 foods offer some of the best sources of dietary flavonoids:

  • Berries
  • Red cabbage
  • Onions
  • Kale
  • Parsley
  • Tea
  • Red wine
  • Dark chocolate
  • Citrus fruits
  • Soybeans 

 

Research has also shown that some flavonoids appeared to have protective effects on the brain:

  • Flavones are associated with a 38% lower risk for self-reported cognitive decline
  • Flavanones have a 36% lower risk for self-reported cognitive decline
  • Anthocyanins have a 24% lower risk for self-reported cognitive decline

 

Best Food For Your Brain

According to a Harvard study, the fruits and vegetables most associated with beneficial cognitive effects, listed from strongest to weakest, are:

  1. Brussels sprouts
  2. Strawberries
  3. Cauliflower
  4. Raw spinach
  5. Yams/sweet potatoes
  6. Blueberries
  7. Yellow/orange winter squash
  8. Cooked spinach
  9. Cooked carrots
  10. Peaches/apricots/plums
  11. Cantaloupe
  12. Tomato juice
  13. Applesauce
  14. Green/red/yellow peppers
  15. Broccoli
  16. Cabbage
  17. Tomato sauce
  18. Romaine lettuce
  19. Tomatoes
  20. Grapefruit
  21. Celery
  22. Beets
  23. Iceberg lettuce
  24. Baked/boiled/mashed potatoes
  25. Orange juice
  26. Raw carrots
  27. Apples/pears
  28. Grapefruit juice
  29. Bananas
  30. Oranges
  31. Onions
  32. Apple juice/cider
  33. Tea
  34. White wine
  35. Grapes/raisins
  36. Red wine

How Much Flavonoid-Rich Food Should You Eat Per Day?

The amount of flavonoids in the foods you eat can vary greatly;  many fruits and vegetables contain several types of flavonoids, along with many other phytochemicals (chemical compounds produced by plants). So instead of trying to track a certain amount of flavonoids, you should just aim to eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. Recent evidence suggests that the most effective combination is two servings of fruits plus three servings of vegetables per day.

Benefits of the Mediterranean Diet

You’ve probably heard about one of the best diets for longevity: The Mediterranean diet. Over three decades of research has shown that a diet high in flavonoid-rich foods like olive oil, legumes, cereals, vegetables and fruits — like the Mediterranean diet — can help prevent the onset of chronic lifespan-shortening diseases.

Discover the Essential Ingredients for a More Fulfilling Life

At Fellowship Village, we believe true wellness should involve the whole person. That’s why our philosophy includes seven dimensions of wellness: physical, social, vocational, spiritual, intellectual, environmental and emotional. One important aspect of both physical and social health is enjoying a good meal with friends and neighbors. Our five-star dining experience offers lots of delicious ways to meet your health and wellness goals. To learn more or to come see our community for yourself, contact us here