The full name for these natural plant compounds is catechin polyphenols. They activate fat-burning genes in abdominal fat cells to assist with weight loss, and belly fat loss in particular. According to research at Tufts University, catechins increase abdominal fat loss by 77 percent and double total weight loss. As if that wasn’t enough reason for most of us to include foods high in catechins like green and black tea and apples in our diet, catechins also improve your body’s ability to use insulin secreted by your pancreas, which prevents blood sugar spikes and crashes involved in plummeting energy levels, cravings, depression, and mood swings.
Scientists have even discovered that epigallocatechin gallate (or EGCG for short), a particular type of catechin found in tea, is 200 times more powerful at eliminating free radicals that damage the skin than vitamin E.
Related: 8 Foods that Fight Fat
This group of phytonutrients is showing huge promise as miracle healing substances. Found in berries, cherries, currants, pomegranates, red and purple grapes, red onions, tomatoes, bell peppers, apple (skin), and walnuts.
Flavonoids interfere with stages of the development of cancer cells, thereby preventing their ability to keep multiplying. Ellagic acid, a particular type of flavonoid, encourages a healthy rate of a natural process in the body called apoptosis, which is the body’s way of ensuring damaged cells are killed so they cannot harm the body. A healthy rate of apoptosis essentially ensures cancer cells are killed by the body. Ellagic acid also helps stimulate the detoxification enzymes in the liver, thereby helping the liver to eliminate environmental toxins, excess hormones, and food toxins, and perform its hundreds of important functions normally.
The flavonoid resveratrol has been getting a tremendous amount of media exposure lately, due to its powerful ability to protect the brain from damage. Dr. Egemen Savaskan and colleagues at the University of Basel in Switzerland discovered resveratrol in grapes. This compound may even help protect the brain against Alzheimer’s disease. They found that resveratrol protected brain cells from plaque formation linked to the disease by mopping up free radicals. Grapes are currently the best known source of this potent healing substance. While red wine is a good source of resveratrol, its alcohol content can be damaging to brain cells and the liver.
Another group of flavonoids called proanthocyanins have demonstrated the unique capacity to protect both the fatty and non-fatty parts of the brain against damage from some environmental toxins. They appear to work by decreasing free radical activity within and between brain cells. Blueberries have some of the highest concentrations of these potent antioxidants.
Related: 10 Cancer-Fighting Foods
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