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Flavonoid-Rich Foods May Aid Healthy Aging in Women

As our bodies age, they become more susceptible to chronic disease and health conditions. A recent study suggests that eating more flavonoid-rich foods may help women increase the probability of healthy aging.

Participants in the study included 13,818 women who took part in the Nurses’ Health Study from 1984-1986. All of them were in their late 50s at the onset of the study and none had chronic diseases. There was a follow up period of an average 15 years.

The researchers used food frequency questionnaires to determine that 1,517 of the women survived into their 70s and showed healthy aging, defined as “no major chronic disease or major impairments in cognitive or physical function or mental health.”

After examining the data, the researchers determined that the highest intakes of flavones, flavanones, anthocyanins, and flavonols increased the likelihood of healthy aging by 32%, 28%, 25%, and 18%, respectively.

Researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, the French National Institute for Health and Medical Research, the University of Bordeaux, and the Harvard School of Public Health conducted the study. It was published in the December 2014 issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Flavonoids are naturally occurring antioxidants which have previously been shown to decrease inflammation, protect our DNA from damage, and improve heart and brain health by increasing blood flow.

Foods high in flavonoids include citrus fruits, grapes, strawberries, tea, cooked greens and dark chocolate, all of which are can be easily incorporated into your daily diet.

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