It’s a pretty well-known fact that eating fruit is good for keeping you healthy. “An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” right? But do you know the specific health benefits of each berry and tropical fruit you’re enjoying this summer? Thanks to a new study, you can now be sure that the health benefits of oranges are effective for keeping your eyes sharp and clear. Orange you glad (you're welcome) to have yet another great reason to eat the delicious citrus fruit?
The study, published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, followed a group of 2,000 adults over the age of 50 for 15 years to learn how oranges affected their health, and more specifically, their risk of macular degeneration, which is a common eye disease you can develop when you get older. While the study focused on antioxidants called flavonoids that are found in almost all produce, oranges were the only food that emerged as a preventative against the eye disease. Bamini Gopinath, a lead researcher on the study and an associate professor at the University of Sydney, said in a statement,
Essentially we found that people who eat at least one serving of orange every day have a reduced risk of developing macular degeneration compared with people who never eat oranges.
Does that seem like a lot of citrus to be eating every day?
Luckily, even eating oranges once a week can have similarly significant health benefits for your eyes, the study found.
But besides the amazing perk of nourishing your eyes, a study published in Stroke, an American Heart Association publication, has also linked eating citrus fruits with a lower risk of stroke. Just one more reason to stock up on these healthy bad boys the next time you're in the produce aisle, right?
What's more, citrus fruits like oranges can also be great for your body when you're sick. Do you swear by chugging Emergen-C before a flight or an all-nighter? Marisa Moore, a registered dietitian, nutritionist, and former spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, told Health that while the vitamin C found in oranges can’t actually prevent you from catching a cold, research suggests the vitamin may help you recover from your cold more quickly. So the moment you begin to feel the stuffy head and throat tickle of an approaching cold, you can know that your delicious fruit snack is working hard to keep your body running its best.
And for my fellow skincare enthusiasts, I have great news: Citrus fruits can also help keep your complexion looking fresh and vibrant: According to a 2007 study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, getting your daily dose of vitamin C via fruits can help keep your skin looking its healthiest. So if you love having a self-care moment for your face, grab an orange before you head out the door in the morning. Or, if you really want to get hands-on with your fruit-infused skincare, try a DIY fruit scrub to nourish your body after a day in the sun. Another (yes, another) pro: You'll smell amazing.
If you've peeled and eaten all of the sunshiny whole oranges you can, try experimenting with some new ways to eat fruit.
One way to shake things up is to incorporate the citrus fruit into a tasty recipe. TV personality and foodie Alton Brown recommends blending them up with a little milk and sugar to create a DIY dupe of the old-fashioned Orange Julius. The refreshing milkshake recipe will not only ensure you take advantage of all of the health benefits of the powerhouse orange, but it's also a perfect solution to that “I need to feel 20 degrees cooler now” moment that inevitably hits after a summer day spent outside.
If you’re more into savory food, you’re in luck, because oranges can easily shine in a dinner recipe, too. This plant-based crispy orange tofu recipe from the blog Nora Cooks uses fresh orange juice to add some pizazz to the Chinese dish.
BRB, adding some oranges to my shopping list, because this juicy treat is small, but oh-so mighty.