Flavonoids – the Secret of Weight Loss Foods

Are you wondering if there are natural weight loss foods? Well, there are. And their secret ingredient is flavonoids.

Flavonoids are chemical compounds found in plant-based foods. There are hundreds of them and they are known to reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer because of their antioxidant activity.

Now it appears they fight fat as well, so they really are weight loss foods.

The Best Weight Loss Plan Includes Plenty of Flavonoids

A number of studies have documented the effect of flavonoids on fat. The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry reported that fat cells exposed to certain flavonoids led to lower levels of an enzyme that forms triglycerides – fat in the blood. Researchers believe that flavonoids can improve the symptoms of metabolic syndrome. (1)

Another study used a flavonoid from citrus, called naringenin, to prevent obesity in mice. Two groups of mice were fed a high fat (western) diet to trigger symptoms of metabolic syndrome. One group was supplemented with naringenin, which completely normalized their glucose metabolism. It was determined that naringenin genetically reprogrammed the liver to burn up excess fat instead of storing it.

Lead researcher Murray Huff commented, “What was unique about the study was that the effects were independent of caloric intake, meaning the mice ate exactly the same amount of food and the same amount of fat. There was no suppression of appetite or decreased food intake. Furthermore, the marked obesity that develops in these mice was completely prevented by naringenin.” (2)

These same results were obtained previously in a 14 year assessment called the Netherlands Cohort Study. Researchers tracked the association between 3 flavonoid subgroups and BMI (body mass index) in 4280 men and women aged 55-69 at the start of the study. Women who had the highest intake of flavonoids had a significantly lower increase in BMI than the women who had the lowest intake of flavonoids. (3)

Interestingly, there were no differences among the men. The study concluded that flavonoid intake may contribute to maintaining body weight in the general female population. Could this be a secret weapon for women?

At any rate, it seems the best weight loss plan includes weight loss foods high in flavonoids.

Common Dietary Flavonoids

What are these weight loss foods? Here’s a brief overview of some of the most common ones:

  • Anthocyanidins – red, blue and purple berries; red and purple grapes; red wine
  • Catechins – teas (particularly green and white), grapes, berries, apples, chocolate
  • Theaflavins – teas (particularly black and oolong)
  • Flavanones – citrus fruits and juices
  • Flavonols – yellow onions, scallions, kale, broccoli, apples, berries, tea
  • Flavones – parsley, thyme, celery, hot peppers
  • Isoflavones – soybeans, soy foods, legumes (4)

Include as many of these weight loss foods in your diet as you can to create the best weight loss plan that will work naturally. The bonus is the disease fighting power you’ll get from all the antioxidants.

Stock Your Fridge With Flavonoids

The weight loss industry is big, big business. But you don’t need to depend on magic pills, cardboard food or the latest fad. The best weight loss plan available is as close as your own refrigerator. All you have to do is stock it with weight loss foods high in flavonoids. You’ll eat well, fight disease and lose weight all at the same time.

Do check with your personal physician before making changes to your diet, exercise or supplement routine.

Sources:

  1. Yen GC, Hsu CL, “Effects of Flavonoids and Phenolic Acids on the Inhibition of Adipogenesis in 3T3-L1 Adipocytes,” Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Oct 17, 2007
  2. University of Western Ontario (2009 July 14). Citrus-derived Flavonoid Prevents Obesity, Study Suggests. Science Daily
  3. Hughes LA, Arts IC, Ambergen T, Brants HA, Dagnelie PC, Goldbohm RA, van den Brandt PA, Weijenberg MP; Netherlands Cohort Study, Am J Clin Nutr. 2008 Nov; 88(5):1341-52
  4. Flavonoids, Linus Pauling Institute, Oregon State University