Popular winter citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruit come with an unexpected health benefit: eating them may lower the risk of ischemic strokes (clots), especially in women, per a study reported in Stroke, a journal of the American Heart Association.
The researchers analyzed 14 years of follow-up data from the National Institutes of Health Nurses’ Health Study, which included 69,622 women that reported their food intake
every four years, including details on fruit and vegetable consumption. The study discovered that a high intake of flavanones, a subclass of flavonoids found in the greatest concentrations in oranges and grapefruit, was associated with a 19 percent lower risk of ischemic stroke.
In the study, the presence of flavanones came primarily from oranges and orange juice (82 percent) and grapefruit and grapefruit juice (14 percent). However, the researchers recommended that consumers increase their citrus fruit intake, rather than juice consumption, to avoid the sugar in many commercial juices.