If you’ve ever looked up the benefits of drinking tea, one of the beneficial chemicals you may have heard of is flavonoids. While this might sound like the name for the chemicals that make up tea’s flavor, the reality is that flavonoids are responsible for a lot more than that.
Flavonoids are phytonutrients found in plants like tea. When consumed, these plant-based chemicals are responsible for many health benefits, including reduced inflammation and free radicals in the body. Regular consumption of flavonoids can help prevent a wide range of chronic illnesses.
Flavonoids are one of the healthiest ingredients in tea that you can take advantage of if you make a point to drink it regularly. Read on to learn more about these phytonutrients and the positive effects they can have on your body.
What Are Flavonoids?
Flavonoids are classified as phytonutrients, a type of organic chemical produced by plants. These compounds are important for maintaining your physical well-being, which is one of the main reasons nutritionists recommend that you get plenty of servings of fruits and vegetables. These are the main sources of flavonoids you’ll run into in your daily diet.
Flavonoids are also present in plant-based beverages like tea. Consuming tea regularly can increase your intake of healthy flavonoids and improve your overall health.
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Types of Flavonoids
Six major subtypes of flavonoids are found in plants. Here are the flavonoids you’re likely to run into in your diet if you’re trying to eat healthier:
- Flavanols: Flavanols are a type of antioxidant, and this chemical can help prevent several chronic illnesses such as heart disease and cancer. Flavanols are found in tea, stone fruits, and vegetables like scallions or broccoli.
- Flavan-3-ols: Flavan-3-ols are phytonutrients that make up a smart addition to your daily diet since they increase general nutrition levels. All types of tea such as black tea, green tea, oolong tea, and white tea are full of flavan-3-ols. These compounds are also found in grapes and berries.
- Flavones: Flavones are a pigment compound found in blue and white flowering plants like peppermint, chamomile, celery, and bell peppers. Flavones act as a natural insecticide and deter bugs from damaging the plant.
- Flavanones: Flavanones are anti-inflammatory chemicals associated with aiding weight loss and managing your blood cholesterol. Flavanones are primarily found in citrus fruits such as grapefruit, oranges, limes, and lemons.
- Isoflavones: Isoflavones are chemicals that help the human body regulate its production of sex-based hormones like estrogen. Isoflavones are primarily found in legumes and soybeans.
- Anthocyanins: Anthocyanins are another pigment-related flavonoid. This is the chemical in plants that gives their flowers a purple, blue, or red coloration. Anthocyanins are found in berries and the skins of grapes.
Regardless of the type of flavonoid you consume, all of them are associated with beneficial health effects when taken as part of your daily diet.
Where Are Flavonoids Found?
Flavonoids are primarily found in the fruits of plants, especially berries. Many flavonoids, especially those associated with pigment such as flavones and anthocyanins, are found in the skin of fruit such as grapes, strawberries, and blueberries.
How Do Flavonoids Help the Body?
Flavonoids are nutritionally beneficial because they can have several positive effects on a person’s health and physical well-being. These are just a few of the key ways that flavonoids can benefit your health :
- Anti-inflammatory properties: Many chronic diseases, such as stroke and colon cancer, have been directly linked to unnatural levels of inflammation in the body. Flavonoids have anti-inflammatory properties that help to reduce inflammation throughout the body, lowering the body’s tendency to attack itself in immune disorders.
- Cellular regulation: Flavonoids help your body regulate cellular regeneration. This quality also helps eliminate free radicals in the body and prevent degenerative diseases.
Flavonoids provide enough high-quality nutrition that they should be deliberately sought out in your daily diet. By incorporating enough fruits and vegetables into your diet through tea and other dietary supplements, you can get all of the flavonoids your body needs to thrive.
Flavonoids in Tea
If you’re not a big fan of fruits and vegetables, one of the easiest ways to get a daily dose of healthy flavonoids is to ingest flavonoids in tea. Flavonoids are present in tea leaves as well as many of the fruit-based teas that include citrus and dried berries.
Here are a few ways to boost the level of flavonoids in your daily cup of tea:
- Drink citrus tea varieties. Teas that include flavor additives such as citrus rind or dried oranges will have more flavonoids than teas which don’t.
- Serve your tea with lemon. A squeeze of lemon in your tea can give you a pop of flavonoids as well as other beneficial nutrients like Vitamin C.
- Choose white tea. White tea has the most amount of flavonoids out of any tea variety because it undergoes minimum oxidation, a chemical reaction caused by exposure to oxygen which degrades these nutrients.
Here are just a few of my favorite teas that I drink just because they taste great that have an extra blast of flavonoids:
- Chamomile Citrus Tea: No caffeine, and contains flavonoids from both chamomile and citrus.
- Green Tea Pomegranate: Caffeine and flavonoids for the win!
- Organic White Tea: Organic, non GMO certified tea.
No matter which tea you drink, you’ll be consuming more flavonoids than you would if you skipped your daily cup. This regular consumption should ultimately help to improve your health over time.
Flavonoids Make Tea a Healthy Drink
Tea is a popular breakfast beverage around the world for tons of reasons, but not least of them is the fact that it’s one of the healthiest additions to your meal that you can make. Thanks to the inclusion of nutrients like flavonoids, regular ingestion of tea can help keep your body at its best.