Flavonoids are polyphenolic compounds that are commonly found in plants, fruits and vegetables. The compound is responsible for flower coloration and is the most important plant pigment. Flavonoids are found in citrus fruits, blueberries, parsley, peanuts, red wine, cocoa, apples, onions, tea and so on. Some of the recent researches on the compound have resulted in proving it beneficial for human health in multiple ways. Flavonoids have antioxidant effects as well and anti-inflammatory properties. It may also aid in lowering blood pressure, thereby cutting down the risk of heart diseases.
Another latest study by the University of Auckland showed that the consumption of flavonoids can significantly reduce the risk of catching cough and cold. According to Andrea Braakhuis, a nutrition researcher, people who eat flavonoids also took fewer sick days off work. According to the study, adults could be 33 percent more protected against the common cold or upper respiratory tract infections, if they eat flavonoids or take flavonoid supplements, compared with those who don't.
"These findings show that if you're generally healthy, eating flavonoids found in lots of fruits and vegetables can help stave off the bugs over winter," Xinhua news agency quoted Braakhuis as saying.
Most adults catch a cold twice or thrice a year while children can catch it upto five times, with symptoms including a sore throat, cough, runny nose and headache.
"We'd all love to make it through winter without one of these nasty colds. They're a leading cause of visits to a doctor, yet antibiotics don't help, so it's worth giving flavonoids a go as part of a healthy diet," said Braakhuis.
"Eating five serves of vegetables and two of fruits each day, in a variety of colours, will put you well on the path to getting enough flavonoids. Make sure your dinner plate is at least half full of vegetables, sip green tea over winter and enjoy the occasional red wine," she said.
However, further study and medical research is needed to deeply understand the role of dietary flavonoids in maintaining good health and warding of various ailments.
Inputs from IANS