Oranges are loaded with Vitamin C and eating just one a day can protect you from the eye disorder macular degeneration, say researchers at the Westmead Institute for Medical Research. The research showed that people who ate at least one serving of orange every day had more than a 60% reduced risk of developing late macular degeneration 15 years later.
What the study shows
Lead researcher Associate Professor Bamini Gopinath from the University of Sydney said flavonoids in oranges help prevent eye disease. “Essentially, people who eat at least one serve of orange every day have a reduced risk of developing macular degeneration compared with people who never eat oranges,” she said. “Even eating an orange once a week offers significant benefits,” said Gopinath.
Gopinath said the research focused on the effects of common nutrients such as vitamins C, E and A on the eyes. Flavonoids are powerful antioxidants found in almost all fruits and vegetables, and have anti-inflammatory benefits for the immune system. The researchers also examined common foods that contain flavonoids, such as tea, apples, red wine and oranges. “Significantly, the data did not show a relationship between other food sources protecting the eyes against the disease,” she said.
Age is the strongest known risk factor and the disease is more likely to occur after the age of 50. There is currently no cure for the disease. The study appeared in the journal American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Other studies on Vitamin C
Researchers from Tohuku University in Japan have found that daily intake of citrus fruits, such as oranges, grapefruits, lemons or limes, can cut chances of developing dementia by almost a quarter. A 2017 study by Linköping University found that lutein, a nutrient in brightly coloured fruit and vegetables, can reduce inflammation in patients with coronary artery disease. Experts also say that since oranges have a glycemic index of 40 and are rich in fibre, they are good for diabetics.