February is heart month, a time to consider including foods in your diet that will benefit your heart. Much has been in the media during the last few years about the positive heart health benefits of blueberries, red wine and dark chocolate. According to research, the compounds responsible for the positive effects are called flavonoids, which occur naturally in food.
Flavonoids that promote heart health fall into six major categories. One category is flavonols and those are found in small amounts in some fruits and vegetables. This is another good reason to consume these foods. An example of a good food source for flavonols is one cup of kale, which contains 62 milligrams of flavonols.
Another category, anthocyanindins, gives fruits and vegetables their red, blue or purple color and protects the body from free radicals. To get the most benefit from anthocyanindins, it is best to consume fruits and vegetables in their raw or fresh state. One cup of fresh cranberries contain 101 milligrams of anthocyanindins. Cranberry sauce has a much lower amount of anthocyanindins.
To learn more about flavonols and anthocyanindins and the remaining four flavonoids, click on this link http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/FS/FS24400.pdf
Source: Facts about Flavonoids, EDIS Publication FSHN14-04