Yummy fruits and refreshing juices, this is the time of oranges. And it is really a good idea to include them in your diet, not only to fill up with vitamin C but also to ensure a precious antioxidant and anti-inflammatory action, to give us more energy and to strengthen the heart and the immune system. Several studies have focused on the health properties of oranges and their juice, today we are talking about two researches, one very recent, published in The journal of Nutrition by an English team (Li et al, J Nutr, Sep 2020), and one from a few years ago, published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition thanks to the work of American scientists (Ghanim et al, Am J Clin Nutr, 2010).
The first study looked at the effects for heart health of blood orange juice. The research is small, it involved about twenty people, overweight or obese, but it is still very interesting. In fact, the scientific studies often speak of the beneficial effects of certain foods after months of consumption. In this case, the protective effects on heart health were observed already after two weeks. In particular, 2 glasses of blood orange juice drunk every day for two weeks led, in the volunteers, to an improvement in the function of the endothelium, which is the lining of blood vessels, ensuring elasticity. What the researchers observed was that the antioxidants contained in orange juice, including anthocyanins and flavanones, were able to influence different mechanisms that led to increasing the bioavailability of nitric oxide, a substance that relaxes the blood vessels, thus allowing for greater opening, increasing blood flow and reducing pressure.
The second study, on the other hand, observed that orange juice is able to counteract the effects of a diet rich in fat and sugar. A diet of this type, in fact, increases the damage of free radicals and the values ??of inflammation in the body. Constant long-term inflammation can cause various consequences, including overweight, type 2 diabetes, depression, cellular degeneration but also a weakening of the immune system. Scientists observed that orange juice intake prevented oxidative and inflammatory stress by reducing the markers of inflammation and oxidative stress.