Flavonoids are a group of chemical compounds naturally found in certain fruits, vegetables, teas, wines, nuts, seeds, and roots. Although not considered vitamins, flavonoids have a number of nutritional functions have been described as biological response modifiers; most act as antioxidants, and some have anti-inflammatory properties. Flavonoids have been shown to prevent or slow the development of some cancers.
Cocoa, particularly dark chocolate, is loaded with the flavonoid Epicatechin and has been found to have nearly twice the antioxidants of red wine and up to three times those found in green tea. The Epicatechin improves blood flow and thus good for cardiac health.
Flavonoids are usually subdivided into 5 subgroups:
Flavonoids are widely distributed in plants fulfilling many functions including producing yellow or red/blue pigmentation in flowers and protection from attack by microbes and insects.
Flavonoids have been referred to as "nature's biological response modifiers" because of strong experimental evidence of their inherent ability to modify the body's reaction to allergens, viruses, and carcinogens.
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