An Orange a Day…
Of course, keeping up the whole apple-a-day practice may help provide your body with important vitamins and fiber; but if you really want a fruit that helps deliver in the health department, add an orange to your daily diet. According to the results of a 15-year study, people over 50 who ate one to two oranges a day reduced their chances of developing macular degeneration by more than 60 percent.*
The study measured diet and lifestyle factors against health outcomes and a range of chronic diseases, and found that people who eat at least one orange every day have a reduced risk of developing macular degeneration compared with people who never eat oranges. Even eating a single orange each week seemed to offer significant benefits.*
Vitamin C Is Not the Key
Historically, most research has focused on the effects nutrients such as vitamins C, E and A have on general eye health. This study, on the other hand, focused on the relationship between flavonoids and macular degeneration.*
Flavonoids are powerful antioxidants found in nearly all fruits and vegetables, and are known to exert an anti-inflammatory effect on the immune system.†
While the researchers examined a number of common foods that contain flavonoids, such as tea, apples, red wine and oranges, the data only showed oranges to protect against macular degeneration, which affects 11 million Americans. Age is the strongest known risk factor, and the disease is more likely to occur after the age of 50.
* American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2018.
† Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, 2008.