To Your Health
October, 2020 (Vol. 14, Issue 10)
Your Body Loves Flavonols
By Editorial Staff
That's great, you're probably thinking .... But what are flavonols? Great question, so let's start by answering it. Flavonols are phytochemical compounds present in a variety of plant foods and beverages, including broccoli, kale, tomatoes, apples, chives, cranberries, onions, red grapes, sweet cherries, and white currants.
In other words, they're hopefully a part of your daily diet already. But whether you get plenty of flavonols or none, here's one reason why they're an important nutritional component to good health: They help lower blood pressure, a leading risk factor for heart attack and stroke.
Research findings published in Scientific Reports suggest people who eat a diet that provides the highest 10 percent of flavonols have blood pressure 2-4 mmHg lower than people whose diet provides the lowest 10 percent of flavonols. According to the researchers, this difference in BP is equivalent to that seen in people who eat either the Mediterranean or Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet.
These findings are notable for two reasons. First, most studies that assess dietary habits rely on self-reported consumption, while this one actually evaluated nutritional biomarkers in the blood. Second, this study involved more than 25,000 people, making it a large study. In general, the larger the study population, the more reliable the results (compared to say, a study of three people, in which results could be due to chance).
We started with a question, so let's end with one: Are you getting enough flavonols in your diet? If you're only eating a few (or none) of the foods listed above, it's time to start. Your blood pressure is counting on it.