Citrus fruits aren’t just refreshing; it’s now been found the food source also reduces the risk of suffering a stroke. Research outlined by Dr. Michael Greger for The Daily Mail has found that a phytonutrient called hesperidin, found in foods like oranges, help increase blood flow through the body, including the brain.
A stroke is when blood flow to part of the brain is restricted, which deprives it of oxygen and ends up killing off the part which is fed by the blocked artery.
A machine called a doppler fluximeter, which uses a laser beam to measure the blood flow, discovered that a solution containing the same amount of hesperidin found in two glasses of orange juice boosted movement of blood in the body. Things flowed even better when participants drank actual orange juice over a solution, making the fruit a must-have for health.
It isn’t just citrus fruits which we should tuck into to ward off strokes though, as in another article Dr. Greger highlights the importance of antioxidants in the diet to also help tackle the problem.
“Why do we need antioxidants?” he quizzes readers. “Because of free radicals – molecules that can damage your genes and cause mutations in the chromosomes which lead to cancer.
“Free-radical damage accumulates in cells all through your lifetime – and, at a certain point, the cells can no longer survive. However, you can slow down this process by eating foods containing lots of antioxidants. These appear to protect against stroke by preventing the circulation of oxidized fats in the bloodstream.”
He detailed a study carried out by researchers in Sweden, which followed over 30,000 older women over 12 years and found the more antioxidant-rich foods they ate, the lower the stroke risk
So what foods should you be tucking into? It’s well known that blueberries pack a mighty antioxidant punch, and can be easily incorporated into your breakfast smoothie or lunchtime salad. Walnuts and pecans also make the cut, as do kidney beans, artichokes and dark chocolate (in small doses!). It’s been found that antioxidant supplements don’t help as much, therefore it’s important you keep your diet packed full of the goods rather than relying on tablets or sashays.