Flavanols, antioxidants found in plant foods, are excellent allies for heart health
The 10 foods with the most antioxidants that protect the body
Flavanols are antioxidant substances that have numerous beneficial properties for our health, so we can fill them up by bringing to the table foods that are rich in them. But what are the real therapeutic virtues of a flavanol-based diet? Recent studies have shown their use in various fields, with considerable success.
A healthy and balanced diet must not be lacking in essential nutrients for the proper functioning of our body. Among these, antioxidants play a very important role: by preventing the formation of free radicals, they reduce oxidative stress and cellular aging, also helping to reduce the risk of many diseases. It is therefore evident that flavanols, compounds of plant origin with strong antioxidant properties, have a great influence on our health.
A recent study, carried out by the University of Reading and published in Scientific Reports, analyzed their effectiveness in reducing blood pressure. The trial involved over 25,000 people residing in Norfolk, United Kingdom: for each of them, the researchers identified the exact amount of flavanols consumed in the diet using biomarkers present in the urine, thus being able to perform a more precise analysis of the their health effects.
The results demonstrated the role of these substances in controlling blood pressure. Specifically, the pressure difference between people with the lowest 10% flavanol intake and those with 10% intake was found to be between 2 and 4 mmHg. A change comparable, according to scholars, to that obtained by subjects who follow a targeted diet to combat hypertension.
A diet rich in foods that contain good amounts of flavanols can therefore have protective effects on the heart and the entire cardiovascular system. Fruits and vegetables stand out among the foods to add to our diet: apples, grapes, figs, strawberries, cherries, mangoes and avocados, as well as capers, onions are an excellent source. , kale and broccoli.
Furthermore, flavanols are present in red wine and in several varieties of tea – particularly in green and black tea. Finally, cocoa is particularly rich in it: dark chocolate, especially the one with a percentage of cocoa higher than 70%, has shown various benefits for our health thanks to the presence of numerous antioxidants.