Researchers at the Central Hospital of Enshi Autonomous Prefecture in Enshi, China, suggest taking in foods containing flavonoids can help prevent the development of Type 2 diabetes. That conclusion was the result of pooling eight earlier studies on the subject and analyzing them as if they were all one large study. The result of the pooled studies was published in May of 2018 in the journal Medicine (Baltimore).

A total of 312,015 participants took part in the eight studies, and 19,953 of the participants developed Type 2 diabetes over a period of 4 to 28 years. The participants who had the highest intake of flavonoids had the lowest risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Taking in at least 550 mg a day of the various flavonoids was linked with a significantly lowered risk.

The types of flavonoids included …

  • anthocyanins,
  • flavan-3-ols,
  • flavonols, and
  • isoflavones.

More research will be needed before we know which flavonoids are helpful in preventing Type 2 diabetes and how much of each we will need to take in to keep us healthy. The good news is the flavonoids are found in fruits and vegetables, which we knew were good for us anyway so the flavonoids could be a bonus. It is well-known vegetarian, and vegan diets are ideal for the prevention and control of Type 2 diabetes. Are flavonoids the reason, or just one of the reasons?

“Anthocyanin” is Greek for “blue flower.” If you are “cyanotic,” you are blue – not healthy. Flavonoids of this class may be blue, purple, or red. Some sources include …

  • black raspberries – 64 calories / cup
  • blackcurrants – 71 calories / cup
  • blueberries – 85 calories / cup
  • blackberries – 62 calories / cup
  • red cabbage – 28 calories / cup
  • black plums – 30 calories / each fruit
  • red radish – 3 calories / each radish
  • red raspberries – 64 calories / cup

Flavan-3- ols have been reported to have numerous benefits, including helping to fight off viruses and prevent some kinds of cancer. Some sources include …

  • tea – 2 calories / 8 ounce cup
  • citrus fruits – 62 calories / orange
  • citrus fruit – 104 calories / each grapefruit
  • citrus juices – 39 calories / juice of one orange

Flavonols are yellow. Some sources include: …

  • chocolate – 142 calories / ounce of pure chocolate
  • ons – 12 calories / ounce
  • broccoli – 31 calories / ounce
  • kale – 33 calories / ounce
  • apples – Fuji, medium, 80 calories
  • tea – 2 calories / 8 ounce cup
  • buckwheat – 155 calories / cup

Isoflavones are similar to the female hormone estrogen but are found only in plants. Soy and soy products are good sources. Other sources are …

  • linseed (flax) – 55 calories / tablespoons
  • sesame seeds – 52 calories / tablespoon
  • wheat berries – 164 calories / cup, cooked
  • fenugreek seeds – 36 calories / tablespoon
  • oats – 300 calories / cup, cooked
  • barley – 270 calories / cup, cooked

Further research in this area is needed The prospect of using flavonoids to manage Type 2 diabetes would be welcome by many.