Flavonoid foods fight diabetes

Flavonoids are big news in food circles. This is partly because foods like chocolate and wine have been found to contain flavonoids so any time a study says that flavonoids are good for you the chocoholics and wine fanciers leap on the news with gusto. Of course there are lots of other foods that contain flavonoids and are even more delicious but they lack the marketing grunt behind them. Herbs and berries just don’t have the appeal to the high disposable income demographic that chocolates and vino do. Nevertheless, a new study on flavonoid consumption is big news because it suggests that flavonoids may be a preventative for one of the plagues of our time; diabetes.

The new study involved almost 2,000 women aged between 18 and 76 years and registered for the UK twin registry. The women all completed a food questionnaire. Using this information the researchers analysed their flavonoid intake. Further, they broke down their flavonoid intake into the six flavonoid sub-classes; anthocyanins, flavanones, flavan-3-ols, polymeric flavonoids, flavonols, and flavones.

The analysis revealed that women who consumed the highest levels of flavones also had increased levels of adiponectin, a protein that regulates glucose levels in the blood. Those who consumed the most anthocyanins were the least likely to have long-term inflammation which is linked to type 2 diabetes, cancer, obesity, and heart disease.

Although some reports have trumpeted this as a god reason to eat more chocolate, wine, [and berries in small print]…the researchers say that this indicates that eating red and purple foods (it is anthocyanin pigments that give these colours) might improve the way we handle glucose and also reduce inflammation therefore reducing risks of type 2 diabetes.

Grapes and berries might not be as sexy or marketable as chocolate, but they are delicious and you won’t regret adding a few more to your diet.

Terry Robson

Terry Robson

Terry Robson is the Editor-in-Chief of WellBeing and the Editor of EatWell.

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