If you consume a lot of blueberries, strawberries, apples, onions and other flavonoid-rich fruits and veggies—organic, preferably—then your waistline may thank you. At least, that’s what a recent study published in the British Medical Journal, or BMJ indicates. The researchers say that a diet rich in those foods may help with weight management and maintenance.
Flavonoids, which are found naturally in most fruits and veggies, have a strong representation, too, since there are more than 6,000 types of flavonoids, including flavonols, flavones, flavanones and anthocyanins.
Although past studies have associated dietary flavonoids with weight loss, with most of the research focusing on flavan-3-ol, a flavonoid in green tea, this study focused on seven types of flavonoids and their effects on weight. Those seven types are: flavanols, flavones, flavanones, flavan-3-ols, anthocyanins, proanthocyanins and flavonoid polymers.
Here’s how the study went: Every four years between 1986 and 2011, 124,086 men and women aged 27 to 65 were required to complete a dietary questionnaire, from which the researchers assessed the participants’ intake of these dietary flavonoids. Likewise, the study’s participants’ weight, lifestyle habits and any health history were assessed via a questionnaire completed every two years.
The results? Anthocyanins, flavonoid polymers and flavonols were linked to the least weight gain in the participants. In fact, not only were those the flavonoids most associated with weight management, for each additional 10mg of anthocyanins, 138mg of flavonoid polymers and 7mg of flavonols consumed daily, there was an associated .16 to .23 pounds of less weight gained each four years.
And what foods were the primary contributors of these in the study? Well, the main sources of anthocyanins were blueberries and strawberries, and the major suppliers of flavonols were onions and tea. Likewise, apples and tea were the main contributors to flavan-3-ols and their polymers.
The researchers point out that their findings are observational, but are quick to add, “Higher intake of foods rich in flavonols, flavan-3-ols, anthocyanins and flavonoid polymers may contribute to weight maintenance in adulthood.”
This is important in the long run because, as the researchers also point out, preventing just small amounts of weight gain can have a significant, positive impact on public health.
This study is among a growing body of research and studies that indicate a diet filled with fruits and veggies are a part of a healthy diet that can support vibrant health, including a healthy weight.
So, eat those blueberries, strawberries, apples and onions!
This information is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It should not be used in place of an individual consultation or examination or replace the advice of your health care professional and should not be relied upon to determine diagnosis or course of treatment.