Berry Compound Boosts Overall Health

Phytonutrients in plant-based foods, flavonoids have been shown by a number of previous studies to lower risks of various chronic diseases. Many types of berries are high in flavonoids, particularly red, blue and purple berries.  C. Samieri, from Harvard Medical School (Massachusetts, USA), and colleagues analyzed data collected on 13,818 women enrolled in the Nurses’ Health Study, 1984-1986.  At the start of the study, the subjects had no chronic diseases. Followed for an average of 15 years, during which food surveys were collected. 1,151 women survived into their 70s, absence of chronic diseases or major impairments in cognitive or physical function. The data revealed flavones, flavanones, anthocyanins, and flavanols increased the odds of aging with little or no impairment/chronic disease by 32, 28, 25, and 18%, respectively.  The study authors report that: “Higher intake of flavonoids at midlife, specifically flavones, flavanones, anthocyanins, and flavonols, is associated with greater likelihood of health and wellbeing in individuals surviving to older ages.”

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