Oranges and grapefruits can reduce the risk of stroke, researchers say. Because of the high level of certain types of antioxidants they are very beneficial for the brain. The best are consumed as fruit or juice at breakfast.
The research team based at the Medical Faculty at the University of East Anglia studied the protection power of flavonoids, antioxidant compounds present in fruits, vegetables, dark chocolate and red wine.
Women who consumed large amounts of flavones in oranges and grapefruit had 19 percent lower risk of ischemic stroke (associated with blood clots) than women who consumed the least amount.
The study was conducted on 70,000 women during 14 year period, The desired level of flavones is about 45 mg per day; a glass of orange juice can provide 20-50 mg of flavones, depending on storage conditions.
The study, published in the medical journal Stroke, says that the flavones are mainly found in oranges and orange juice (82 percent), then, grapefruit and grapefruit juice (14 percent). However, the researchers recommend that those who want to increase the intake of citrus fruits to eat the whole fruit rather than drink (commercial made) juice because of the high sugar content.
Lead researcher, Professor Edin Kesidi says that their research showed that higher intake of fruits, vegetables, and especially vitamin C linked to lower risk of stroke:”It was thought that flavonoids provide protection through several mechanisms, including improved blood vessel function and anti-inflammatory effect. However, more research is needed to confirm the association between intake of flavones and stroke.” Everyone can reduce the risk of stroke if you eat healthy and balanced diet, with little saturated fat and salt, if you exercise regularly and if you keep your blood pressure under control.