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New research has found that eating foods rich in flavonols may reduce the risk of frailty as a person ages.
Vulnerability often includes symptoms such as unintentional weight loss, decreased strength, and decreased energy.
Experts recommend that patients focus on eating a colorful diet to absorb a variety of plant nutrients such as flavonol.
A new study found that eating fruits and vegetables containing flavonols may lower your risk of developing frailty as you age.
About 10% to 15% of older adults experience frailty as they age – frailty is considered a geriatric syndrome that includes symptoms such as unintentional weight loss, decreased strength, decreased energy and fatigue, slower walking speed, decreased mobility, and decreased physical activity.
The condition can lead to a greater risk of falls, fractures, disability, hospitalization, and death.
“The prevalence of frailty varies depending on the definition and measurement used and it’s important to note that frailty can also occur in younger adults with certain underlying health conditions,” Jessica Hulsey, RD, LD, told SELF. Health. “Diagnosis of frailty occurs when a person exhibits three of the qualifying symptoms.”
The study’s findings suggest that consuming just 10 mg of flavonols may be beneficial in reducing the risk of frailty by 20%.
What is Flavonol?
Flavonoids are a class of natural plant pigments with various health benefits found in fruits, vegetables and certain beverages such as tea and wine. Flavonols are a class of flavonoids known to have anti-inflammatory, anticarcinogenic and antimicrobial properties.
“They include compounds such as quercetin, kaempferol and myricetin, while flavonoids include a wider range of compounds such as anthocyanins, flavones and flavanols,” Hulsey explained.
Flavonols are found in a variety of fruits, such as apples, grapes and berries, and vegetables, such as onion, kale and spinach. They are also found in perhaps surprising foods such as green tea and unsweetened cocoa.
“Since flavonoids can reduce the age-related accumulation of oxidative stress from reactive oxygen species and some flavonoids even target the elimination of age-related senescent cells, they play a role in reducing inflammation and the consequent development of frailty,” Shivani Sahni, PhD , said one of the study’s authors and an expert in the role of dietary factors in chronic age-related diseases Health.
Oxidative stress increases as we age and is caused by mitochondrial dysfunction and inflammation. Over time, continuous oxidative stress generates reactive oxygen species and reactive nitrogen species, causing protein and nucleic acid oxidation and eventual cell death.
Sahni highlighted how flavonoids are valuable sources of bioactive compounds with antioxidant properties that can help slow down this process.
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Focus on Quercetin
In particular, a flavonol called quercetin may reduce your chances of frailty later in life.
Quercetin is widely used in fruits, vegetables and grains and is known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
“Quercetin is one of the most studied flavonols being tested for its benefits in protecting against age-related chronic diseases,” Courtney Millar, PhD, one of the study’s authors, told me. Health. “Primary dietary sources are apples, citrus fruits, tea, red wine and dark berries such as blackberries.”
Quercetin and other flavonoids are not only linked to reducing frailty and age-related decline, but they are also associated with many other health benefits.
“Flavonoids have been associated with improved cardiovascular health, reduced risk of certain cancers and improved cognitive function,” added Hulsey. “They also have potential benefits for managing conditions such as diabetes.”
“More research is needed to fully understand the mechanisms and draw definitive conclusions regarding the impact of flavonoids on frailty and other health outcomes,” she clarified.
While the study found that there was no statistically significant association between flavonoid intake and the onset of frailty, it did help to establish that every 10 mg flavonol intake per day was associated with a 20% lower risk of developing frailty in older adults.
Furthermore, every 10 mg quercetin intake per day was associated with a 35% reduced chance of developing frailty.
Add flavonol to your diet
If you’re looking to increase your flavonol intake, adding 10mg to your diet may be easier than you think. For example, a medium-sized apple contains about 10 mg of flavonols. Different fruits and vegetables contain different subclasses of flavanols.
Consuming a variety of these types of foods can help ensure you’re eating all the different types of flavonols to aid in disease prevention.
To increase your intake of flavonoids, you can incorporate dietary strategies such as incorporating a variety of fruits and vegetables into your meals and snacks. Foods particularly high in quercetin include citrus fruits, sage, tea, red wine, olive oil, grapes, dark cherries, and dark berries such as blueberries and blackberries.
“Try to have a mix of colorful options to provide a wide variety of nutrients, including quercetin,” Hulsey suggested. “You can also experiment with recipes with quercetin-rich herbs and spices like parsley, dill, and cilantro.”
Related: Can You Eat Too Much Fruit?
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Read the original article on Health.