New research has found that specific components of fruits and vegetables could help in preventing long-term weight gain.
Flavonoids are bioactive compounds that are found naturally in fruits and vegetables. Previous research has suggested that specific flavonoids might play a role in weight maintenance, however the exact associations have been largely unstudied.
New research, published today in the British Medical Journal sheds some light on the association between specific flavonoids and prevention of weight gain. The researchers, have for the first time, assessed the association between long-term intake of specific flavonoids and weight gain. The study included 124 086 American men and women, whose dietary habits were followed for 24 years.
The study reported that increased intake of most types of flavonoids resulted in less weight gain. The greatest associations were found specifically for anthocyanins, flavonoid polymers and flavonols. The researchers reported that the foods with the highest amounts of anthocyanins included blueberries and strawberries. Those with highest levels of flavonoid polymers were found to be from tea and apples.
Overall the researchers report less weight gain over time in people who ate higher amounts of total flavonoids. According to the researchers, this new information add to dietary recommendations, particularly in the prevention of obesity.
The researchers suggest that increasing intake of high-flavonoid fruits and vegetables such as apples, pears, berries, and peppers, could help with weight management.
Bertoia, ML, Rimm, EB, Mukamal, KJ, Hu, FB, Willett, WC, Cassidy, A. “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