Apples, Pears, Onions and Oranges May Lower Risk of Death
Back in 2014, we proclaimed “Fabulous Flavonoids” and for good reason: one study linked these compounds to lower risk of ovarian cancer, and another to increased odds of healthy aging. Now there is even more evidence that these compounds are as fabulous as can be. A 2015 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition finds eating foods that are high in flavonoids may help lower risk of death from any cause.
Australian researchers followed more than 1,000 women ages 75 and older for five years. At the beginning of the study, women completed questionnaires about the foods they typically ate, from which researchers determined the flavonoid content in their diets. Five years later, researchers checked in on the ladies’ health.
Compared with women who had the lowest amount of flavonoids in their diets, those with the highest flavonoid intakes had about 60% lower risk of death. For cancer and heart disease specifically, risk of death dropped by 40-50%. The compounds in apples, pears, onions and tea (flavanols and flavonols) offered the strongest level of protection. Though flavanones, found mainly in oranges and citrus, were not as strongly correlated with lower risk of death, this could be due to limited study data.
Incorporating plenty of fruits and vegetables into the diet is one way to ensure your flavonoid intake is high—plus, research shows eating lots of fruits and vegetables may also help extend your life. Our Brussels Sprouts, Apple and Sweet Potato Hash is packed with flavonoids and flavor, and tastes delicious on a chilly winter night.
Published February 1, 2016