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Edible Flowers May Inhibit Chronic Diseases

A new study in the Journal of Food Science, published by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), found that common edible flowers in China are rich in phenolics and have excellent antioxidant capacity. Edible flowers, which have been used in the culinary arts in China for centuries, are receiving renewed interest. Flowers can be used as an essential ingredient in a recipe, provide seasoning to a dish, or simply be used as a garnish. Some of these flowers contain phenolics that have been correlated with anti-inflammatory activity and a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and certain cancers.

Institute of Food Technologists

Blue borage is used as a sweet-flavored garnish. A recent study suggests that edible flowers such as these may inhibit chronic diseases.Photo credit: Yummifruitbat, Wikimedia CommonsCHICAGO—A new study in the Journal of Food Science, published by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), found that common edible flowers in China are rich in phenolics and have excellent antioxidant capacity. Edible flowers, which have been used in the culinary arts in China for centuries, are receiving renewed interest. Flowers can be used as an essential ingredient in a recipe, provide seasoning to a dish, or simply be used as a garnish. Some of these flowers contain phenolics that have been correlated with anti-inflammatory activity and a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and certain cancers.

The findings of this study show that common edible flowers have the potential to be used as an additive in food to prevent chronic disease, help health promotion and prevent food oxidization. However, the antioxidant mechanisms, the anti-tumor, anti-inflammation and anti-aging activity of the edible flower extracts should be further studied to develop more applications as natural antioxidants.

Read the Journal of Food Science abstract here