Flavonoids are a class of compounds present in fruits, vegetables, dark chocolate and red wine.
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Women with the highest levels of flavanone in their diet were 19% less likely to have an ischemic stroke during 14 years of follow-up than those with the least flavanone intake (P=0.04), Aedín Cassidy, PhD, of the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England, and colleagues found.
Flavonoids are thought to provide some of that protection through several mechanisms, including improved blood vessel function and an anti-inflammatory effect.
The researchers recommended that consumers increase their citrus fruit intake, rather than juice, due to the high sugar content of commercial fruit juices.