Bioflavonoids, compounds from the group of plant polyphenols, have many useful properties. They help to maintain good health and fitness, protect against many diseases and support the action of numerous substances beneficial to our health. If the Mediterranean diet is commonly regarded as the most optimal one, it is because of the presence of many valuable components, including bioflavonoids, in olive oil, red wine or citrus fruit.
Table of contents
What are bioflavonoids?
These natural substances of plant origin are biologically active combinations of flavonoids which are commonly found in plants – flowers, fruits, seeds, leaves and are responsible for their taste, smell and colour. They are present mainly in the outer, surface layers of plant tissues.
The main function of flavonoids is to protect plants from harmful effects of the external environment. When consumed in their natural form, they also form a specific protective barrier for the human organism.
So far, about 8 thousand types of bioflavonoids have been discovered. The most important of them include, among others: flavones with strong antioxidant properties, flavonols neutralizing toxins and strengthening capillaries, anthocyanins, which are extremely health-promoting, or isoflavones with beneficial effects on brain function.
Citrus bioflavonoids, such as quercetin or rutin, are particularly valuable compounds. As the name suggests, they are mainly found in citrus fruit and have anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, anti-allergy and anti-atherosclerotic properties. Rutin also influences the condition of blood vessels, supports the treatment of asthma and respiratory allergies.
Bioflavonoids – health promoting properties
So far, the antioxidant action of these compounds has been best known and described. They effectively remove free radicals which are harmful to health and support the body’s defense mechanisms. They are helpful in prevention and treatment of diseases in which oxidative stress plays a decisive role – cancer, atherosclerosis and cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, nervous system disorders such as Alzheimera and Parkinson’s disease.
This is because flavonoids have a high antioxidant potential. Thanks to that, they directly protect the heart and cardiovascular system by lowering blood pressure and increasing vascular elasticity, reduce the risk of cancer, have a protective effect on the nervous system, and finally support the liver in removing toxins from the body.
Recent research confirms the fact that the same mechanism, namely transformation of oxygen into reactive derivatives, lies at the base of many serious diseases and the aging process of the body. Consuming bioflavonoids, we therefore contribute to neutralizing harmful free radicals, not only preventing many diseases, but also slowing down skin aging and other degenerative processes.
Bioflavonoids – where do they occur?
Despite the fact that these compounds are essential for our health, we generally consume surprisingly little of them, mainly because bioflavonoids are not likely to be found in highly processed products. In order to take full advantage of them, we must reach for food of natural origin, preferably raw or minimally processed.
Rich sources of these substances include, among others:
- dark fruits: chokeberries, grapes, black currants, blueberries, blueberries, cherries, elderberries, cranberries
- Citrus, lemons, oranges, grapefruit, apples, figs
- red wine
- Cocoa, tea (green, black), dark chocolate
- Cereals, pecans and hazelnuts
- Soybeans and soybean products
vegetables: broccoli, onions, capers, sorrel, arugula, green and red bell peppers, parsley and dried and fresh parsley, celery leaves
Bioflavonoids – medical preparations and dietary supplements
Of course, it would be best to eat only raw vegetables and fruits, drink red wine and snack on grains or nuts. However, for many reasons this is not always possible. Therefore, you can support your body with various supplements, whose formula is based on ingredients of natural origin. One of them is Cistus Plus, a preparation containing an extract from purple and bitter orange, which are valuable sources of flavonoids.
Go to our review of Cistus Plus
There are also other supplements available on the market that contain bioflavonoids, vitamin C and other health-promoting substances. These include pure citrus fruit extracts, herbal extracts, or blends of herbs designed to be used for a specific condition.