Posts Tagged ‘citrus’

Orange juice ‘improves brain function’

Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

A small study, which saw 37 adults with an average age of 67 consume 500ml (just under a pint) of orange juice daily for eight weeks, found they had an 8% overall improvement in cognitive function compared with a group who consumed a control drink.

At the beginning and end of the eight weeks their memory, reaction time and verbal fluency was measured by carrying out eight tests.

One of the tests of verbal memory required learning a list of words to be recalled immediately, and again after a 30-minute delay.

Researchers said an 8 per cent improvement equates to remembering one more word from a shopping list of 15 items. Small improvements such as this over an eight-week period could translate into substantial improvements over the lifespan.

While the researchers are not recommending that people drink 500ml of orange juice every day, due to its high sugar content, they said their findings show that the constituents of orange juice could play an important role in providing brain-boosting nutrients as part of a healthy, balanced diet.

Co-author Dr Daniel Lamport, of the University of Reading’s School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences, said orange juice is a major source of a group of naturally occurring plant phytochemicals known as flavonoids, and is particularly rich in a subclass of flavonoids, known as flavanones.

Recent studies have shown that flavonoids may improve memory through the activation of signalling pathways in the hippocampus, a part of the brain that is associated with learning and memory.

He said with a rapidly ageing population and estimations that the number of persons aged 60 or over could triple by 2100, it is “imperative” that simple, cost-effective ways to improve cognitive function in old age are explored.

“Small, easily administered changes to the daily diet, such as eating more flavonoid-rich fruits and vegetables, have the potential to substantially benefit brain health,” he said.

“We know that people find it difficult to sustain big changes to their diet but simple alterations are much easier to maintain permanently.

“More research on the positive effects of flavonoids on cognition is still needed. However, this is an important discovery which strengthens the growing body of evidence that flavonoid-rich foodstuffs could play a big role in tackling cognition decline in old age.”

Source: Telegraph.co.uk

Study shows grapefruits tackle diabetes as well as leading drug

Monday, February 22nd, 2016

Scientists have found that the popular breakfast fruit works just as well as the common diabetes pill metformin in lowering harmful blood sugars.The breakthrough discovery could be a simple way to get Britain’s soaring diabetes and obesity crises under control.

US researchers have found that the so-called “grapefruit diet” which was popular in the Seventies and Eighties as the latest “Hollywood” diet secret followed by the likes of actress Brooke Shields may in fact have some scientific basis.

The team, from the University of California, Berkeley, gave one group of mice an antioxidant called naringin, a bioactive compound in grapefruit juice that has been identified as a key agent in weight loss.

They gave another group metformin, the most common glucose-lowering drug prescribed for patients with Type 2 diabetes.

The mice were fed a diet that was either 60 per cent fat or 10 per cent fat for 100 days, and their metabolic health was monitored throughout the study.

Researcher Professor Joseph Napoli said: “The grapefruit juice lowered blood glucose to the same degree as metformin.

“That means a natural fruit drink lowered glucose levels as effectively as a prescription drug.”

The group of high-fat-diet mice that received naringin had lower blood glucose levels than the control group, but there was no effect on weight, suggesting that some other ingredient in grapefruit juice is also beneficial.

The study did not find as big an impact on mice that ate a low-fat diet.

The researchers also randomly divided mice into six groups, including a control group that drank only water.

Those drinking grapefruit juice got a mixture diluted with water at different concentrations, and sweetened slightly with saccharin to counteract grapefruit’s bitterness.

The researchers also added glucose and artificial sweeteners to the control group’s water so that it would match the calorie and saccharin content of the grapefruit juice.

At the end of the study period, the mice that ate the high-fat diet and drank diluted grapefruit juice not only gained less weight than their control counterparts, they also had a 13 to 17 per cent decrease in blood glucose levels and a three-fold decrease in insulin levels, which reveals greater sensitivity to insulin.

In Type 2 diabetes, the pancreas makes extra insulin to compensate for increased resistance to the hormone.Those that drank the grapefruit juice saw a two-fold decrease in insulin levels, but there was no significant change in weight or other metabolic factors.

The study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, also found that mice fed a high-fat diet gained 18 per cent less weight when they drank clarified, no-pulp grapefruit juice compared with a control group of mice that drank water.

Juice-drinking mice also showed improved levels of glucose, insulin and a type of fat called triacylglycerol compared with their water-drinking counterparts.

Prof Napolli added: “We see all sorts of scams about nutrition. But these results, based on controlled experiments, warrant further study of the potential health-promoting properties of grapefruit juice.”

Previous research has hailed the benefits of grapefruit for beating diabetes.

One study by experts in Jerusalem and Boston found that naringenin helps the liver to burn fat instead of storing it after eating while increasing the production of insulin.

This mimics the process in long periods of fasting where fatty acids are broken down instead of carbohydrates.

Naringenin gives citrus fruits – in particular grapefruit – a bitter taste.

Source: Express

Uncle Matt’s Juices: Just What the Doctor Ordered!

Friday, January 25th, 2013

With this decade’s worst cold and flu season in full swing, it’s good to know that Mother Nature provides natural ways to fight back. Adequate vitamin C intake is key to shortening the duration of sickness, and juices high in vitamin C will help get you there fast. In fact, the right 100% fruit juices should be an essential part of your diet when you have a cold to shorten its duration and get you back to full health.

And we’re happy to announce that Uncle Matt’s Organic orange and grapefruit juice make the list for “Best Cold-Fighting Juices.”  They are both excellent naturally-derived sources of vitamin C. And what’s more, all of Uncle Matt’s juices are U.S.A.-grown without the use of synthetic pesticides and herbicides.

One 8 oz. serving of orange juice provides 154% of the daily-recommended intake of vitamin C, while 8 ounces of grapefruit juice provides 134%. Both juices supply 1% of zinc, an essential mineral proven to boost immunity.

So besides stocking up on Uncle Matt’s orange and grapefruit juices during your next bout with the flu, consider this healthy fact: drinking plenty of cold liquids, like grapefruit and orange juice, can also help relieve a runny nose, according to Joanne Larsen, MS, RD, LD.

 To read the full article, click here.