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Citrus Fruits May Reduce Stroke Risk

Eating citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruit may help to reduce the risk of women having a stroke.

Oranges and Grapefruit may help reduce the risk of having a stroke, new research suggests.

What are believed to be beneficial to the blood vessels, are a range of compounds, flavoniods which are present in foods including fruits, vegetables, dark chocolate and red wine.

The team found that people who ate high amounts of citrus fruits containing a specific type of flavonoid had a 19% lower risk of suffering a blood clot related (ischemic) stroke than people who consumed the least amounts, especially vitamin C intake is associated with reduced stroke risk.

Flavonoids are thought to provide some of the protection through several mechanisms, including improved blood vessel function and an anti inflammatory effect.

The research team used 14 years worth of data from a study of 69,000 people who reported their food intake, including details on fruit and vegetable consumption, every four years.

Oranges and Grapefruit contain a sub group of compounds called flavanones, they were at a lower risk of stroke than people who consumed other sources of flavonoids. They recomend that people eat the fruit rather than drink the juice because of the high sugar content of commercial fruit juices.

Studies have also shown a link between increased consumption of white fruits like apples and pears with a lowered stroke risk.

We all know that eating plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables is good for our health, but this study has shown that eating citrus fruits in particular which are high in vitamin C is very beneficial, however all types of fruits all have health benefits and remain an important part of a stable diet.

More studies are needed to confirm the association between flavanone consumption and stroke risk, and to gain a better understanding about why the association occurs.

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Image via Wikipedia

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