In college, the only citrus I got was the lime in my beer bottle, but now I know better. Citrus fruits are loaded with health-promoting nutrients, like vitamin C.
Kiwi fruit, watermelon, strawberries, mangos and raspberries are all packed with vitamin C. And in May, vitamin C was found to stave off age-related vision loss.
Now, new findings in the journal Diabetes claims another fruit nutrient, naringenin—a flavonoid in citrus fruits—halts the development of metabolic syndrome, which leads to diabetes, heart disease and obesity.
For the study, scientists fed mice a high-fat diet—to simulate a western diet—in order to induce symptoms of metabolic syndrome and discovered mice fed a fatty diet plus naringenin had “corrected” levels of triglycerides and cholesterol.
Naringenin also protected against insulin resistance. Experts say naringenin reprogrammed the liver to burn up excess fat, instead of storing it. However, more research is needed to determined naringenin’s exact effect on heart disease.
In related news, pomegranates were found to reduce inflammation associated with cardiovascular disease.
Image credit: adamjtaylor