Fruits and vegetables provide more than just vitamins and minerals. They also contain beneficial compounds known as flavonoids. Science is just scratching the surface when it comes to discovering the beneficial role these compounds play in human health. Take rutin, for instance. It's commonly found in fruits and vegetables and sold as a dietary supplement. Data from animal and cell studies indicates it may prevent blood clots, protect against high blood sugar and possibly offer other benefits.
May Curb Clots
An apple a day may actually keep the doctor away, according to a study published in the June 2012 edition of the "Journal of Clinical Investigation." Researchers conducted an experiment using mice and found that quercetin-3-rutinoside, also known as rutin, blocks an enzyme involved in blood clot formation. This is promising news since blood clots play a major role in causing heart attacks and strokes. Rutin inhibited blood clot formation in a dose-dependent manner, according to the study.
May Protect Against Fatty Liver
When fat accumulates in your liver cells, it may increase the risk of various metabolic issues such as diabetes, obesity and high cholesterol. Rutin appears to protect against fat accumulation in the liver, according to a study in the March 2011 issue of the "Journal of Food Science." Researchers treated liver cells with the fatty acid oleic acid with and without rutin to examine the effect. They found rutin prevents fat from accumulating in the cells.
May Counter Diabetes
Rutin may offer anti-diabetic benefits, according to researchers in India. They gave rutin to diabetic rats for 45 days. The rutin significantly decreased fasting glucose, showing that it helps protect against hyperglycemia. Researchers also discovered rutin possesses antioxidant capabilities. Although animal studies don't always translate to humans, this is promising news. The results were published in the January 2006 issue of the journal "Basic and Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology."
Eat More Fruits and Vegetables
A diet rich in flavonoids promotes health and helps prevent disease. You can find these compounds in fruits, vegetables, chocolate, tea and red wine. To get a range of flavonoid compounds in your diet, it's crucial that you eat a diet filled with a variety of foods. The average American fails to eat the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables, getting just three servings per day, according to the Harvard School of Public Health. You should aim to get between five and 13 servings daily, according to Harvard.