The flavonoids in black tea have been associated with subsequent improvements in cardiovascular health. Drinking a cup of tea daily may provide these benefits, but if you don’t drink tea, there are other dietary options that contain flavonoids.
Drinking a cup of tea daily may benefit your health as you age, but even if you’re not a tea drinker, you can still benefit from flavonoids through other dietary options. It is a natural substance found in many common foods and beverages, including black and green tea, apples, nuts, citrus fruits, and berries.
Flavonoids have long been recognized for their health benefits, but new research from Edith Cowan University (ECU) suggests they may be even more beneficial than previously believed. The Heart Foundation supported a study of 881 older women (median age 80). This study found that people who consumed high levels of flavonoids in their diets were less likely to have extensive accumulation of abdominal aortic calcification (AAC).
AAC is a calcification of the abdominal aorta (the largest artery in the body that supplies oxygenated blood from the heart to the abdominal organs and lower extremities) and is a predictor of cardiovascular risk such as heart attack and stroke. It has also been found to be a reliable predictor of late-life dementia.
Ben Parmenter, researcher and principal investigator at the ECU Nutrition and Health Innovation Research Institute, says there are many dietary sources of flavonoids, some in particularly high amounts.
“In most populations, a small group of foods and beverages that are very high in flavonoids account for the majority of total flavonoid intake,” he said. , strawberry, orange, red wine, apple, raisin/grape, and dark chocolate.”
There are many different types of flavonoids, such as flavan-3-ols and flavonols, and studies have also shown a relationship with AAC. Study participants with higher intakes of total flavonoids, flavan-3-ols, and flavonols were 36-39% less likely to have widespread AAC.
Black tea was the major source of total flavonoids in the study cohort and was also associated with significantly lower odds of broad AAC. Participants who drank 2-6 cups of tea per day were 16-42% less likely to have widespread AAC than those who did not drink tea.
However, other dietary sources of flavonoids, such as fruit juices, red wine, and chocolate, showed no significant beneficial associations with AAC.
More than just tea
Black tea was the main source of flavonoids in this study, probably due to the age of the participants.
“In women who do not drink tea, higher total non-tea flavonoid intake appears to prevent extensive arterial calcification.” It means that it may protect against AAC.”
Parmenter said this is important because even non-tea drinkers can benefit from flavonoids in their diet.
“In other populations and groups of people, such as young men and people from other countries, black tea may not be the primary source of flavonoids.” Research indicates that flavonoid intake that may protect against AAC is readily achievable in most people’s diets.”
REFERENCES: “Association of prevalence of abdominal aortic calcification and increased intake of habitual dietary flavonoids in a cohort of older women,” Benjamin H. Parmenter, Catherine P. Bondno, Kevin Murray, John T. Shubo, Kevin Croft, Richard L. Prince, Jonathan M. Hodgson, Nicola P. Bondonno, Joshua R. Lewis, 3 November 2022, arteriosclerosis, thrombosis, vascular biology.