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Flavonoid in Food

Flavonoid contents in food may vary from many reasons: the place and time of harvest, measurement method, and the handling of biological samples. In this summary page, we selected foods with over 10 mg flavonoids per standard serving. For example, fresh peppermint contains ca 20 mg flavones (apigenin and luteolin) per 100 g, but we do not eat over 50 g peppermint leaves in a normal diet. The following data are rather subjectively selected from data tables in this database. For full data, please visit the following data pages.

  • Merken HM, Beecher GR (2000) "Measurement of Food Flavonoids by High-Performance Liquid

Chromatography: A Review" J Agric Food Chem 48(3) 577-599 PMID 10725120

Content Summary

Food containing high Flavanone

Flavanones are rich in citrus, not in vegetables.

Food Flavanone
grapefruit, raw or juice 14-53 グレープフルーツ (生、ジュース)
orange and tangerine, raw or juice 13-33 オレンジ、みかん (生、ジュース)
Food containing high flavone

Many herbs contain flavones. Parsley is rich in apigenin; celery and thyme in luteolin.

Food Flavone
celery hearts, raw 19 セロリの芯 (生)
parsley, raw 302 パセリ (生)
Food containing high flavonol

Flavonols are prevalent in vegetables, usually in small amounts. Onions, kales, hot peppers are good sources.

Food Flavonol
buckwheat 23 そば
cranberry, juice 16 クランベリー (ジュース)
onion, raw or boiled 5-20 たまねぎ (生、ゆで等)
kale, raw or canned 18-34 ケール (生、かんづめ)
Food containing high flavan

Catechins and epicatechins are contained in legumes and teas, but not in other vegetables.

Food Flavan
(mg/100g or 100ml)
broadbeans, raw ~50 そらまめ (生)
dark chocolate bar ~50 ダークチョコレート
black grapes 18 黒いブドウ
brewed black tea > 16 淹れた紅茶
brewed oolong tea 50 淹れたウーロン茶
brewed green tea > 50 淹れた緑茶
Food containing high anthocyanin

Anthocyanins are contained in berries. Vegetables supply only small amounts.

Food Anthocyanin
blueberries, raw 113 ブルーベリー (生)
sweet cherries, raw 116 さくらんぼ (生)
elderberries, raw 749 エルダーベリー (生)
raspberries, raw 49 ラズベリー (生)
Vegetables and herbs with scarce flavonoids

The following vegetables and herbs have flavonoid contents less than 5 mg/100 g: beets, kidney beans, snap beans, cabbage, carrot, cauliflower, cucumber, endive, gourd, leek, lettuce, green peas, sweet pepper, potato, radish, tomato, oregano, perrilla, rosemary



Most flavonoids are absorbed in the small intestine, and are soon metabolized to form β-glucuronide and sulfate conjugates (phase II conjugation in the intestinal wall)[1]. The catechol units are often methylated. C-glycosides such as puerarin remain stable and not conjugated. Not all phenolics including flavonoids are absorbed in their native forms. Esterification of phenolic acids (e.g. chlorogenic acid), for example, reduces absorption. Non-absorbed flavonoids are transported to the colon, and subjected to metabolism by microbiota. These metabolized forms show markedly different bioactivities from their aglycones[2]


Isoflavones are efficiently absorbed from the colon and exhibit the highest bioavailability. (Usually polyphenols absorbed from the colon show very low availability.) Daidzein and genistein are known to form chlorinated products (e.g. 3- and 8-chlorodaidzein), then are conjugated with glucuronides and excreted in bile.


Although anthocyanins comprise ca 50% of total polyphenols, they are poorly absorbed (less than 1% of intake in urinary levels) from the stomach and small intestine. After intake, they soon appear in plasma and urine. In blood, anthocyanins can exist in a non-conjugated form. Their glucuronides and sulfo-conjugated forms also appear in early blood sample (0-6 h) and methylated forms occur later (6-24 h)[3][4]


Proanthocyanidins, anchocyanins, and galloylated tea catechins are least well-absorbed polyphenols. However, gallic acid, catechins, flavanones, and quercetin glucosides are well absorbed.

  1. Manach C, Scalbert A, Morand C, Remesy C, Jimenez L (2004) "Polyphenols: food sources and bioavailability" Am J Clin Nutr 79(5):727-747
  2. Setchell KD, Brown NM, Lydeking-Olsen E (2002) "The clinical importance of the metabolite equol-a clue to the effectiveness of soy and its isoflavones" J Nutr 132(12):3577-3584
  3. Kay CD, Mazza G, Holub BJ, Wang J (2004) "Anthocyanin metabolites in human urine and serum" Br J Nutr 91:933-42
  4. Kay CD, Mazza G, Holub BJ (2005) "Anthocyanins exist in the circulation primarily as metabolites: a study of the metabolism and pharmacokinetics of cyanidin 3-glycosides in humans" J Nutr 135:2582-8

Bioavailability Data

Flavonoid Dose Observation
catechin[1] 5.8 g 26% was excreted within 24h. m-hydroxyphenyl propionic acid was detected in plasma after 6h
3-O-methyl-catechin[2] 2 g plasma level 11-18 ug/ml within 2h; 38% was excreted as glucuronides and sulphates in urine within 120h
quercetin[3] 64 mg (as fried onion) plasma level 1 uM, 2h later
quercetin[4] 4 g (as supplement) undetected in urine or plasma
decaffeinated green tea[5] 88 mg EGCG, 82 mg EGC, 33 mg ECG, and 32 mg EC plasma level 46-268 ng/ml, 82-206 ng/ml, undetected, and 40-80 ng/ml, respectively.
  1. Das NP (1971) Biochem Pharmacol 20, 3435-3445
  2. Hackett AM, Griffiths LA, Wermeille M (1985) Xenobiotica 15, 907-914
  3. Hollman PCH et al (1995) Am J Clin Nutr 62, 1276-1282; Hollman PCH et al (1996) Free Rad Biol Med 21, 703-707
  4. Gugler R, Leshik M, Dengler HV (1975) Eur J Clin Pharmacol 9, 229-234
  5. Lee MT et al (1995) Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 41,393-399
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