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Flavonoids – And How They May Reduce Your Cancer Risk

As it turns out, an apple a day really could keep the doctor away. Recent findings reveal that flavonoids, which are healthy plant chemicals found in fruits and vegetables, can reduce the risk of cancer, particularly those of the colorectum and breast, according to the American Institute for Cancer Research. As an extra bonus, flavonoids can also greatly reduce your risk of heart disease.

How do flavonoids reduce your cancer risk? Consuming a minimum of 500 milligrams of flavonoids daily is recommended to protect you from the risk of cancer. Not only that but upping your intake will also decrease the risk of cancer even more. Researchers believe this protective property of flavonoid could be due to its anti-inflammatory effect, helping to improve blood vessel function.

What’s more, flavonoids don’t just have preventative properties, they also have anti-cancer properties. These plant chemicals can interfere with the inner workings of cancer cells by blocking off such functions as metastasis, which causes cancer to spread throughout the body, and promoting other functions such as apoptosis, which is cell death.

The protective effects of these plant chemicals are especially strong for those who smoke or drink a lot. Reducing your cancer risk can be helped by reducing alcohol intake and quitting smoking, but if these things are difficult to do, then increasing your flavonoid intake by eating more fruits and vegetables will help offset the negative effects of drinking and smoking.

So how can you cash in on these great effects? With over 6,000 compounds found in plant-based foods, flavonoids are fairly easy to come by. They’re present in fruits such as apples, oranges, strawberries, grapes and blueberries, as well as vegetables such as spinach, kale, Brussel sprouts and celery.

However, flavonoids exist in many different forms, and so they can also be found in other types of food besides fruits and vegetables, such as soy products, legumes, tea (particularly black, green, white and oolong), red wine and cocoa products (including dark chocolate).

Getting to the recommended daily minimum of 500 milligrams of flavonoids is relatively easy. Start small by adding a few pieces of fruit to one of your meals, then build up so you can have some type of fruit or vegetable at all meals of the day, including snacks. Mix up the types of flavonoids to enjoy variety, for example, by having a cup of green tea and an apple with your breakfast, a piece of dark chocolate and an orange with your lunch, and a glass of red wine and a side of fresh garden salad with your dinner.

Do you have any thoughts about flavonoids? Let us know in the comments below or reach out to us on Facebook and Twitter.

Disclaimer: If you are allergic to any of the ingredients listed in the products mentioned, do not consume them. Always check with your doctor before trying a new medication or regime, and if irritation or allergy occurs stop using the product or medication immediately.

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