Flavonoid derived from certain fruits and vegetables is associated with weight maintenance and even weight loss.
Eating fruits and vegetables that are rich in flavonoid can prevent weight gain, according to a new study.
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Flavonoid is a natural compound abundant in many fruits and vegetables such as apples, pears, onion, celery and berries and it can potentially contribute to losing weight.
To examine the association between dietary flavonoid consumption and weight loss, researchers conducted a large-scale study which recruited more than 124,000 participants across US and tracked them over 24 years.
Researchers looked at their diet, weight and lifestyle habits via questionnaire after every two year period between 1986 and 2011. Researchers found that those who ate a diet rich in flavonoid filled food maintained their weight better than people who did not.
“Most adults gain weight as they age and even small increases in weight can have a substantial impact on risk of high blood pressure, developing heart disease, cancer or diabetes. Strategies to help people to help maintain a healthy weight from childhood onward are therefore critically needed.” Professor Aedin Cassidy researcher of the study from University of West Anglia said in a statement.
“We found that an increased consumption of most flavonoids were associated with weight maintenance and even a modest weight loss. The results were found to be consistent across men and women and different ages.”
There are different types of flavonoid but researchers found that flavonoid polymers, flavonols and anthocyanins are the ones who seemed to work the best in terms of preventing weight gain. Anthocyanins are commonly found in blueberries, strawberries, grapes and cherries while orange juice, tea and onions are main sources of flavonols. Apple contains high levels of flavonoid polymers.
In the United States, most people consume less than one cup of fruits and less than one cup of vegetables – a quantity which is not enough. Researchers suggest that people should increase the intake of fruits and vegetables in their diet. They should consume at least two cups of fruits and two and a half cups of vegetables.
“Just a single portion of some of these fruits per day would have an important impact on health at a population level.” Cassidy said.
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This is the first study to examine the association between consumption of all flavonoid and weight gain in a large-scale sample. Many previous studies focused on a single subclass flavan -3 which is found in green tea and were limited to a small number of obese or overweight participants. The latest study is however observational and no definite conclusions can be made from it. But eating more fruits and vegetables with high levels of flavonoid can improve overall health and can reduce the risk of diabetes, cancer, hypertension and heart disease.