Flavonoids can be found in all parts of a plant: its roots, its stem, its bark, as well as in its fruit. The production of flavonoids is dependent on the amount of sunlight, heat, ozone, and hydration. They are repsonsible for numerous health benefits from different fruits.

For instance, there is a process called oxidation that happens in every human’s body. Oxidation is the metabolizing of oxygen, which creates things called free radicals and essentially causes us to age. Flavonoids are antioxidants, meaning they slow down this process of oxidation in the body, which in turn creates less free radicals and slows down aging!

This general property of most flavonoids has made them the center of fruit advertisement and scientific research. You may see blueberries advertised as ‘antioxidants’ or ‘anti-inflammatory’ - this is because of the flavonoids they contain.

Other responsibilities of flavonoids include the color and taste of the fruit, as well as the production of enzymes and vitamins in a plant. In addition to slowing down oxidation, flavonoids can also help prevent damage to the liver, so several flavonoids such as catechin, apigenin, and quercetin can aid in preventing diabetes.

Blackberries, like salmonberries, are part of the Rubus genus, so it would be reasonable to infer that salmonberries and blackberries contain similar flavonoids and health benefits. For example, blackberries have a high content of myricetin, a flavonoid that is supposed to have antithrombic and anticarcinogenic effects, meaning it might help prevent cancer and stops coagulation in one’s blood. Thus, salmonberries may also have these health effects.

By finding out the health benefits of each fruit and vegetable, we can start being more mindful of what we eat and its effects on our body.

Eric is a curious scientist from Juanita High School.