Flavonoids or bioflavonoids are non-nitrogenous plant pigments.
Some flavonoids give provide the yellow color to some plant parts and the general name of "flavonoid", since flavus in Latin means "yellow". So, the word flavonoid derives from the latin word flavus. . Other ones provide the red color of buds, shoots or leaves in autumn. They are also responsible for the colors of many fruits.
Many varieties of color in the flowers depend on the acidity of the medium. Acidic conditions provides strong red colors; an alkaline medium, blue color and a neutral environment, provides the violet. These variations explain because the same plant, such as hydrangea , color varies according to where it is planted.
What are flavonoids functions in plants?
Their functions in the plant world seems to be to attract pollinators to flowers or animals that eat the fruits with the intention that they can disperse the seeds.
A very distinctive , for example, is that of bromeliads among which we have Tillandsias or Billbergias . These plants develop flowers on a kind of stem that emerges from a number of rosette leaves. This stem is formed by a series of bracts. These bracts have a strong reddish color before or during pollination and then become more green.
Other times flavonoids have the function to attract prey. The same carnivorous plants such as sundew, uses anthocyanins in their flowers to attract insects which it devours.
Many times the flavonoids are the plant adaptive response to intense ultraviolet radiation. These components protect plants from the harmful effects of these noxious rays.
Other times these components show unpleasant flavors what would constitute an advantage against herbivores that would reject these kind of food.
How many flavonoids are there?
More than 600 flavonoids have been discovered. They all seem to have an important role in human food. They have very interesting medicinal properties .
Main curative properties
MEDICINAL PROPERTIES OF FLAVONOIDS
They all seem to have a very important role in human food, since they have interesting medicinal properties.
Flavonoids are found only in plants , so, to obtain these components, we must eat a diet rich in vegetables. Among the main properties of the flavonoids, we can mention the following:
Most of flavonoids, especially catechins of green tea, have a high capacity to neutralize the free radicals and to prevent the pernicious effects these have on the health of our body. Used as supplements , in combination many times with the vitamin C , can be able to neutralize virus like those of herpes.
Many flavonoids have been tremendously effective in the treatment of the cancer. It is known that many inhibit the growth of cancer cells
They have a tonic effect on the heart , strengthening the heart muscle and improving circulation. Mainly attributed to the flavonoid quercetin, although it appears less intense in others, such as genistein and luteolin.
They improve the strength of capillaries, so they prevent them to break, preventing bleeding. Among all the flavonoids, hesperidin , rutin and quercetin should be mentioned in order of importance