The Power of Flavonoids
OK, let's start by answering the obvious question for many a reader: What the heck are flavonoids? Simply put, flavonoids are plant chemicals present in various amounts in almost all fruits and vegetables.
While they contribute to the vivid colors we see in many fruits and veggies, they play a much more important role regarding our health, including boosting our immune systems.
Now let's talk about Parkinson's disease (you'll see why in a moment). PD is a progressive neurodegenerative brain disorder that causes shaking, tremors, and eventually problems with balance, coordination, and even walking and talking. In other words, Parkinson's is bad news. The good news, you may have guessed by now, is that those plant chemicals in fruits and vegetables – flavonoids – may prolong life in people diagnosed with PD.
Research findings published in Neurology suggest Parkinson's patients who consume more flavonoids have a greater chance of living longer than those who consume less – in this case, during the 34-year study period. In addition, men (but not women) who consumed more flavonoids before their PD diagnosis also had a lower risk of dying during the study period compared to men who consumed less flavonoids.
In the study, PD patients were asked about how often they ate flavonoid-rich foods such as tea, apples, berries, oranges / orange juice, and red wine. Researchers calculated total flavonoid intake based on the frequency of consumption. Patients in the highest daily intake group (approximately 673 milligrams of flavonoids) had a 79 percent greater chance of survival during the 34-year tracking period compared to patients in the lowest daily intake group (approx. 134 milligrams of flavonoids).
By the way, flavonoids aren't just good for Parkinson's patients; increasing evidence also suggests they can help reduce cancer and cardiovascular disease risk. And of course, since consuming flavonoids means consuming fruits and vegetables, you're also getting a wealth of other health-promoting, disease-preventing compounds.