28Proanthocyanins, also known as flavolans, condensed tannins, and proanthocyanidins, are chemical compounds resulting from the condensation of flavans. They are a particular type of flavonoid that have a whole host of health benefits that the world is only slowly coming to reap. Although proanthocyanidins were discovered in 1947, many people are unaware of their purpose or even existence.
Health Benefits of Proanthocyanins
As mentioned, the health benefits of proanthocyanins are simply spectacular. They help with:
- the formation of collagen
- reducing blood pressure
- relieving and/or preventing allergic reactions
- keeping blood vessels healthy
- reducing cholesterol build-up
- vision (and night vision too)
- preventing heart disease
- making vitamin C more effective
Because of these qualities, some people have relied on proanthocyanins in the treatment of varicose veins, edema, heart disease, and eyesight problems. Simply keeping your blood vessels in top shape can do so much for your body in the long run. On top of all of this, proanthocyanidins are antioxidants. This means that the health benefits of proanthocyanins encompass antioxidant benefits too!
Antioxidants help reduce risk of various types of cancer (prostate, colon, etc.) and in some cases, even destroy certain cancer cells. Vitamins C and E are antioxidants, but they are tens of times less powerful than proanthocyanins. Overall, proanthocyanidins appear to lower the mortality rate in people regularly consuming them.
Foods with Proanthocyanins
Aronia berries and grapes have a particularly high proanthocyanin content so if you want to experience the health benefits of proanthocyanins firsthand, it’d be worthwhile to get them. As odd as it may sound, red wine also contains proanthocyanidins. In fact, they are the main reason that many doctors approve of drinking red wine every once in a while to help the heart.