Flavonols and flavonoids-rich fruits and veggies help weight management as per the findings of a new study published in the British Medical Journal.
Far from being another diet fad, the findings of the new study emphasise the significant health benefits of consuming fruits and veggies rich in flavonoids and flavonols. More specifically, the researchers looked at anthocyanins, flavonoid polymers and flavonols, all compounds of the same class.
If you’re wondering which are the superfoods rich in these compounds, a quick research will yield a host of delicious fruits and veggies. Apples, berries, grapes, pears and others are the most widely available. The research found that for every 10 mg of anthocyanins added to the usual diet, as well as for every 138 mg of flavonoid polymers and 7 mg of flavonols extra per day, weight gain is deterred. Moreover, the same amounts have been linked to moderate weight loss.
The study, conducted by researchers with the Chan School of Public Health, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, the Harvard Medical School, the Norwich Medical School, and colleagues, followed 124,086 adults for 20 to 24 years. The diet and weight data was retrieved from three large cohort studies: The Nurses’ Health Study II, the Nurses’ Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study.
All participants in the study self-reported their dietary habits through approved food questionnaires. Weight loss or weight gain was also reported every two years through a questionnaire. The values were converted to a weight change measure for each four-years interval. The flavonols and flavonoids content of each food was retrieved from the U.S. Department of Agriculture database.
While the large study may only emphasise associations between weight management and high consumption of flavonols and flavonoids-rich foods without proving cause and effect, it still yields crucial results pinpoint the health benefits of consuming sufficient fruit and veggies servings.
We already know that a balanced and healthy diet should include as many servings of fruits and vegetables per day as possible. However, seeking to include flavonoid-rich foods may help with maintaining a healthy weight. Blueberries for instance are rich in anthocyanins. Half cup serving of blueberries contains 121 mg anthocyanins. Prunes, apples, grapes and strawberries are also rich in flavonoids. During the study, the researchers found these are also the foods most consistently associated with weight loss. Celery, peppers and onions were also found to help with weight management.
It may be that some flavonoid-rich foods aren’t necessarily linked to weight loss. For instance chocolate has a high caloric value while being rich in flavonoids. But the beneficial effects of the latter may be offset by the high caloric value. Fruits and veggies instead have a low caloric density. Including these foods in your diet may work wonders as flavonols and flavonoids-rich fruits and veggies help weight management.
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