Citrus Fruit May Reduce Risk Of Strokes

Will an orange a day keep strokes at bay? It just might, according to the findings of a recent study. Oranges, grapefruit and other citrus fruit may help to reduce the risk of stroke in women.

An observational study done in Norwich, England and reported in the April issue of Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association showed that women with the highest levels of flavanones in their diet were 19% less likely to suffer an ischemic stroke as compared to women with the least flavanone intake. Ischemic strokes are the strokes caused by blood clots.

Flavanone is a bioflavanoid or antioxidant found primarily in citrus foods and citrus juices. The citrus food that most of the women in this study ate was actually orange or grapefruit juice. However, the researchers recommend eating the whole fruit to better boost your intake of all of the powerful nutrition the fruit has to offer.

Limiting your juice intake and opting for the whole fruit instead will help to keep your triglyceride and glucose levels low. The sugar content of fruit juices, especially commercially prepared fruit juices is dangerous to your health. In addition, the fiber of the fruit has awesome health benefits that you won’t find in fruit juice.

In the past the protective effect of citrus foods was thought to be vitamin C. But, in this study, stroke prevention was due to the flavanone found in citrus. However, you will find flavanone in other foods such as apples and tea.

There are six types of flavonoids and flavanones are just one of them. However, all of the flavonoids have been shown to provide benefits in terms of health and disease prevention.  In this study, total flavonoid intake was looked at. Researchers found a wide range of flavonoid intake, from an average of 97 mg to 761 mg per day. The flavonoid that offered stroke prevention in this study is thought to be the flavanone found in citrus.

Nutrition is an underappreciated potent protector in the prevention of strokes. Most physicians are so focused on the powerful effects of statin drugs in the battle against strokes and other cardiovascular diseases that they have been led to think that diet is unimportant. This is huge mistake because other studies have shown that diets such as the Cretan Mediterranean diet can reduce strokes and heart attacks by twice that of simvastin.

While additional studies need to be done to further test benefit of flavanone and citrus foods in ischemic stroke prevention, it is wise to include a daily serving of citrus fruit as part of a healthy diet. The flavanone in citrus has been associated with improving blood lipid levels, and lowering the risk of colorectal, esophageal and stomach cancers.

Citrus food you can select from include:

  • Oranges
  • Grapefruit
  • Lemons
  • Limes
  • Leech limes
  • Citron
  • Kumquats
  • Mandarin oranges
  • Clemetines
  • Pummelo
  • Tangerine
  • Minneola
  • Satsuma
  • Tangelo
  • Ugli

So, the next time you’re at the store, pick up some nice juicy citrus. A citrus a day may keep the strokes away!