According to a study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, citrus fruit contains a compound that possibly reduces the risk of ischemic stroke in women. Namely, the study found that there was a 19% lower risk of stroke for women who regularly included high amounts of grapefruit and oranges into their diet as opposed to women who didn’t eat any citrus fruit.
The reason for this lies in the particular group of flavonoids found in citrus fruit. Apart from accounting for the red, yellow and blue color of fruits and vegetables, flavonoids are antioxidants more powerful than vitamins E and C. These phytochemicals can activate the self-protective mechanisms in the body which stop the growth of tumors.
Flavonoids are found in all plant foods, but their concentration is highest in citrus fruits, berries, onion, green tea, parsley, dark chocolate and red wine.
As found by other studies, citrus flavonoids in particular are highly beneficial for improving blood circulation and capillary permeability. To be more specific, the risk of stroke reduces significantly with high intake of vegetable, fruit and vitamin C. What flavonoids do is provide protection through several mechanisms – strong anti-inflammatory effects and improved blood vessel function.
Citrus Fruit Reduces the Risk of Stroke
As there are six main classes of flavonoids and the various types of flavonoids are different, researchers examined their link to ischemic, hemorrhagic and total stroke. Surprisingly, no link was found between flavonoids and the risk of stroke, except for those found in citrus fruit. The results showed that citrus flavonoids can significantly lower the risk of ischemic stroke as opposed to other sub-types. And, health experts recommend consuming the whole fruit instead of drinking grapefruit and orange juice, because it contains less sugar and more fiber than commercial fruit juices.
A different study found that apples and pears improve brain blood flow and support capillary health.
Although a preliminary link between citrus fruit and stroke has already been established, researchers claim that further investigation into this matter is needed before any definite conclusions are drawn.