High-flavonoid foods, like berries and apples, 'prevent weight gain’
Last updated: 6.32pm, Wednesday 30th March 2016
The advice is based on the findings of a major new study looking at the effects of foods rich in the compound flavonoid, such as berries and apples, on body weight. The researchers tracked around quarter of a million people over 24 years. Results suggest that eating more flavonoids – specifically anthocyanins (coming mainly from blueberries and strawberries), flavonoid polymers (from tea and apples), and flavonols (from tea and onions) – was linked to less weight gain. Every extra 10 milligrams (mg) of anthocyanins, 138mg of flavonoid polymers, and 7mg of flavanols per day, was linked to 70-100g less weight gained over four-year intervals. While this may not seem a lot, it adds up over a number of years. An inherent limitation of this type of study design is that it cannot prove cause and effect – it can only highlight associations. It would be unwise to take this study as advice to only eat berries or apples, as a balanced diet containing a wide variety of fruits and vegetables remains important for overall health. Nonetheless, the study is broadly in line with more robust evidence suggesting you should consume at least five portions of fruit or vegetables a day to reduce your risk of a variety of diseases. Age-related weight gain – the dreaded "middle-aged spread" – is common, but not inevitable.