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Citrus Fruits Can Lower Risk of Stroke in Women

May 1, 2012

A recent study has shown that eating oranges, grapefruits, and other citrus fruits may make women less susceptible to ischemic stroke.

According to the study, which was published in an American Heart Association journal, women who consumed the highest amounts of citrus fruits had a 19% lower ischemic stroke risk compared to women who ate the least.

Citrus Fruits can Reduce the Risk of StrokesThis is one of the first studies that examined the effects of consuming flavonoid subclasses on the risk of stroke. Flavonoids are a type of compounds that are known to provide a wide range of health benefits, and they can be found in fruits, vegetables, wine, and dark chocolate.

Lead author of the study, Dr. Aedin Cassidy, said that higher intake of fruits, vegetables, and vitamin C, has been proven to be effective in reducing stroke risk, and it is believed that some of that protection is provided by flavonoids through a number of mechanisms, including enhanced blood vessel function and anti-inflammatory effect. Dr. Cassidy is a nutrition professor at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England.

The results of the study were based on follow-up data that was collected by the Nurse’s Health Study over a period of 14 years. The data included reports from 69,622 women regarding the foods they consumed, including details on the consumption of fruits and vegetables once every four years.

Although the researchers failed to prove that total flavonoid consumption has a beneficial association with stroke risk, they discovered that women who consumed the highest amounts of flavanones in citrus were significantly less susceptible to ischemic stroke than those who ate the least amounts. They recommended that women eat more citrus fruits instead of drinking juice, because commercial fruit juice has high sugar content.

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