Consuming foods containing some types of flavonoids can help with weight maintenance over a long period of time. Various foods are known to be positively or negatively associated with weight change.

Some foods that have been found to positively influence body weight include blueberries, apples, pears, peppers
and celery. These foods are all rich sources of flavonoids.

Flavonoids are naturally occurring compounds that are found in a number of fruits and vegetables. The exact mechanism responsible for these weight loss effects in foods rich in flavonoids is not entirely known and most studies into weight loss and flavonoids involve only green tea and overweight and obese participants.

Researchers have now analysed all of the flavonoid subclasses and their relationship with weight change in over 100,000 people over 24 years.

The people involved in this study were free of chronic diseases, including obesity, at the beginning of the study.

A number of personal factors were measured over 24 years including weight and lifestyle habits every two years and diet and food frequency every four years. Intakes of seven flavonoid subclasses were analysed.

The results showed that consumption of most of the flavonoid subclasses was inversely associated with weight gain.

The association was strongest for anthocyanins (found in foods such as blueberries and strawberries), flavonoid polymers and flavonols (found in items such as tea and onion).

Implications

A healthy diet full of fruit and vegetables is essential for good health and weight maintenance. Many people struggle to get the recommended dose of fruit and vegetables in their daily diet.

Australian guidelines recommend that adults consume at least two serves of fruit and five serves of vegetables each day.

This study adds further weight to the benefit of consuming fruits and vegetables and goes a step further to identify what fruits and vegetables may be best for people who struggle with their weight.

Maintaining a healthy weight is essential for healthy ageing and the prevention of a number of chronic conditions. Get adequate levels of fruit and vegetables in your diet and, if you are having a hard time maintaining a healthy weight, throw in some flavonoids for an extra kick.

Last Reviewed: 21/08/2019

© Norman Swan Medical Communications.



References

Bertoia, M et al. Dietary flavonoid intake and weight maintenance: three prospective cohorts of 124 086 US men and women followed for up to 24 years. BMJ 2016; 352: i17