Researches showed that eating plant-based foods have an immediate benefit to our health. This was confirmed by a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition wherein 174 men and women who had risk factors for heart disease participated in eating foods high in flavonoids, a compound found virtually in all plants. The result of the study showed that men who ate an extra 2.4 servings of flavonoid-rich fruits and vegetables each day had a measurable improvement in several markers for heart disease risk.
Researchers concluded that increasing fruit and vegetable intake, particularly those high in flavonoids to six or more servings a day have a great effect on our body.
Health authorities say flavonoids work as natural antibiotics and anti-inflammatory agents as they help in increasing resistance to viral illness.
A recent study showed that regularly eating vegetables that are high in falconoid content increase resistance to herpes simplex and HIV. Flavonoids on the other hand help reduce inflammation in conditions such as arthritis.
Some fruits or vegetables that contain high flavonoids include berries and grapes, soybeans and other legumes, tomatoes, spinach and carrots.
Berries and grapes. The color of these fruits comes from the actual flavonoid, called anthocyanin. One study showed that women who consumed berries and grapes more than three times a week were less likely to suffer from a heart attack.
Berries and grapes have been shown to help in preventing premature aging and cancer, in promoting cardiovascular health and in improving circulation of the bloodstream as well as memory and cognition which are helpful in aging.
Soybeans and other legumes. People who eat a lot of soy tend to have much lower risk of breast cancer which has been attributed to a flavonoid called isoflavone. It was found out in a study that a diet high in isoflavone lowers blood pressure.
Tomatoes. Tomatoes has high falconoid content. Tomatoes are not only very high in Vitamin C but also contain high levels of lycopene which is a falconoid. Lycopene has been shown to help reduce not only the risk of cancer of the prostate, cervix, the lungs and other cancers but also chances of both heart and cardiovascular disease.
Spinach and carrots. These vegetables are full of Vitamin C as well as beta-carotene and folic acid. Beta-carotene is extremely important in eye health. Folic acid has been shown to help prevent neural tube defects in the unborn fetus in the first three months of pregnancy. Other studies also have shown that eating spinach and other foods high in beta-carotene help in the prevention of cancer.
The USDA recommends that at least 4-5 servings of fruits or vegetables per day should be included in our daily diet. To get the maximum falconoid content, fruits and vegetables should be consumed raw or cooked as little as possible.#