We are often advised to “eat the rainbow” by nutritionists and wellbeing gurus; a phrase that refers to eating a large variety of colourful fruits and vegetables daily for optimal health. While we're becoming increasingly aware of a vibrant and varied diet being fundamental to good health and wellbeing, many of us take the compounds responsible for the diverse hues of the fresh foods on our plate for granted.
The explanation behind the deep shades of colour in plants, fruits and vegetables comes down to a group of compounds known as flavonoids, and these powerful antioxidant compounds play an essential role in everyday nutrition and wellness. Flavonoids may also be present in certain natural wellbeing supplements such as full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD oils. If you want to learn more about this key component of a healthy diet and wellbeing routine – including how flavonoids benefit you, where they are found and, more specifically, how to boost your flavonoid intake with the right type of CBD oil – then keep reading.
What are Flavonoids and Where Are They Found?
Flavonoids are a large group of phytonutrients; a type of natural compound produced by plants that have beneficial effects on wellbeing, but their primary function is to provide the colour pigmentation in leaves, fruits and flowers. When looking at a variety of produce, it’s the flavonoid molecules that are responsible for the diverse range of colours that we experience. The deep greens of spirulina or kale and the bright oranges of carrots or pumpkins, for instance, are all due to the presence of flavonoids. These pigmented colours are intended to repel herbivores, attract pollinators and contribute towards the filtration of UV light, and the phytonutrients responsible also trigger the colour changes during the ripening process of fruit or as we transition through the seasons. Flavonoids are found in many foods and drinks such as fruits, vegetables, grains, tea, and wine as well as roots, stems and flowers of plants.
The Benefits of Flavonoids
Flavonoids have a broad range of benefits for the body, including:
- Powerful antioxidant activity, protecting cells from oxidative damage from everyday toxins
- Reducing inflammation
- Improving daily mood
- Lowering stress and anxiety
- Potential pain relief from chronic conditions
Each flavonoid provides its own benefit and will be more effective in some areas than others, which is why it’s important to keep your diet as varied as possible and try new foods as much as you possibly can.
Types of Flavonoids
The six main types of flavonoids are anthocyanidins, flavonols, flavones, flavanones, flavan-3-ols and isoflavones. Anthocyanidins are the most abundant in fruits and vegetables, giving them their rich red, blue and purple colours (think grapes, red onions, plums and blackberries!). Flavonols are known for their antioxidant properties and are found in the cannabis plant, peaches, broccoli and tomatoes. Flavones provide both natural pest protection for plants, as well as a white and blue pigment for flowers. They are present in cannabis as well as peppermint, red peppers and chamomile. Flavanones contain many beneficial properties such as anti-inflammatory properties to improve overall mind-body wellness. They can be found in many citrus fruits such as oranges, limes and lemons. Flavan-3-ols also offer a wide range of important nutrients with beneficial effects on our health and can be found in tea, cocoa and blueberries. Last but not least are the isoflavones which give some legumes their yellow hue but also offer numerous health benefits including antioxidant activity and potential hormone regulation.
Are Flavonoids Present in CBD Oil?
Some people who are keen to increase their intake of flavonoids (amongst other beneficial compounds) to enhance wellbeing turn to CBD (cannabidiol) oil, which is renowned for its therapeutic effects. The cannabis plant, which CBD is extracted from, contains a variety of flavonoids; yet not all CBD oil contains flavonoids, so it’s important to look out for the right product.
A CBD oil that contains broad-spectrum extract or full-spectrum extract is the best type to boost your flavonoid consumption. These types of CBD oil contains a moderate-to-full range of natural plant matter, including CBD, flavonoids, and terpenes (and small quantities of THC in full-spectrum oils). Scientists believe that this combination of natural plant extracts creates a beneficial process called the ‘entourage effect’. This is a harmonious system during which all the flavonoids, terpenes and cannabinoids boost each other’s properties and enhance their efficacy, increasing the intensity of the overall benefits felt by the user.
What Do CBD Flavonoids Do?
26 flavonoids have been discovered within the cannabis plant. These are mostly flavonol and flavone types. Cannflavin is a cannabis flavonoid which has been studied for its potent anti-inflammatory properties. There are three types: Cannaflavin A, B and C, and they are responsible for the green hue of the plant. Purple strains of cannabis are a result of the presence of anthocyanins. Each flavonoid has its unique wellness benefit, but they also work in synergy with cannabinoids and terpenes.
Cannabinoids are natural plant compounds which include CBD and THC. When they interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system (an integral cell-signalling system which regulates our mood, sleep, metabolism, immunity, pain perception and more), they can encourage balance, which lifts the mood, induces relaxation, lowers inflammation, etc.
Terpenes are responsible for the scent of plants, including the distinct aroma of cannabis. They also provide anti-inflammatory effects.
Due to the entourage effect, as previously mentioned, when flavonoids work in synergy with terpenes and cannabinoids, the therapeutic benefits of each are enhanced. CBD + Relief Oil contains high-quality broad-spectrum CBD extract and maintains the plant’s natural plant matter (except for THC, so it won’t get you high). This synergistic combination of cannabinoids, flavonoids and terpenes – plus added limonene, a powerful terpene – provides heightened relief from pain, inflammation, anxiety and stress.
Flavonoids are a type of phytonutrient found in fruits, vegetables, flowers, stems, roots and leaves. These compounds provide us with aesthetic pleasure through the diversity of colours they create in our daily lives which can contribute to improved emotional wellbeing (as well as providing a number of benefits to the plant, of course, such as herbivore protection and UV light filtration). When we include a range of flavonoids within our diet, such as by including a range of vegetables on our plate or supplementing with a broad-spectrum CBD oil, we reap a plethora of additional health and wellbeing benefits. These include protective antioxidant effects against environmental pollutants as well as potential anti-inflammatory properties to reduce chronic pain symptoms.