flavonoids prevent death from cancer and cardiovascular disease

Millions of people die each year from all causes, including cancer and heart disease, because they don’t get enough fruit and vegetables in their diet. The flavonoids in fruits and vegetables fight many of the causes of these deaths. So, could getting more flavonoids in your diet help to save your life?

A huge Danish study followed 56,040 people for 23 years. It found that flavonoids in the diet are associated with a decreased risk of dying from any cause, including cancer and cardiovascular disease. The huge benefit seemed to peak at about 500-1000mg of flavonoids a day.

It is not at all hard to achieve this target in your daily diet. The researchers point out that a cup of tea, an apple, an orange, 100g of blueberries and 100g of broccoli would provide the target amount from a variety of flavonoids.

Interestingly the people who benefited most from eating flavonoids were the people who needed the benefit the most: the benefit was strongest for smokers and heavy drinkers.

Nature Communications 2019;10:3651

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