How Citrus Fruit Could Save Your Life

Citrus FruitAs we grow older, a number of changes occur in our bodies, resulting in an increased risk of suffering from a heart attack or stroke.  The most common age-related changes include increase in weight, blood pressure, and glucose levels.  If we are not too cautious about our health, especially with regard to cardiac care or issues pertaining to the cardiovascular system, we could easily end up being overweight or obese, hypertensive, and diabetic.  For those seriously looking into leading a healthy lifestyle, natural heart remedies are the simplest and easiest resource for cardiac care.

In an upcoming April 2012 research article published in the Stroke, the official journal of the American Heart Association (AHA), the role of specific natural heart remedies in decreasing stroke risk and improving cardiac care is described.  The report is quite timely because there have been no comprehensive research investigations on the relationship of natural health remedies such as citrus fruit intake and heart attack, stroke, or cardiac care to date.  The first investigation that attempted to establish a correlation between citrus fruits as natural heart remedies to heart attack was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 1999.  Despite the large study population involved in this older study, the intake of citrus fruits was considered as a general group in this investigation.

In the newest report in the AHA journal, the association between specific citrus-derived flavonoids and stroke is presented.  Flavonoids are a large group of plant pigments with positive health effects, including those related to cardiac care.  Subclasses of flavonoids include anthocyanins, which are responsible for the red to purple coloration in plants, flavanones, which are predominant in citrus fruits, and flavonols, which are commonly present in fruits and vegetables.  The other components of natural heart remedies mentioned in the report also include flavones, flavan-3-ols, and the polymers.

The information contained in this AHA report can significantly enhance cardiac care by describing in finer detail the actual components of natural heart remedies that could decrease the occurrence of heart attack and stroke.  By actually identifying the specific plant compound and the corresponding plant source, readers can include specific fruits in their daily care, thus enhancing their total cardiac care.  In addition, the AHA report monitored the use of natural heart remedies in a large study population, initially consisting of 121,700 women within the age range of 30 to 55 years old.  The actual study did not start until 14 years later, as the investigators needed to establish baseline information on the participants, including lifestyle habits, previous medical histories and reports of stroke or heart attack.  It was also important for the study to collect as much information on each participant’s activities in relation to personal cardiac care and use of natural health remedies. Any participant that has been earlier diagnosed with a cardiovascular disorder, including heart attack and stroke, were removed prior to the start of the actual study.  In addition, only those participants who provided substantial information on their daily food intake were included in the research program.

The most striking result of this AHA study involves the identification of the specific food item that showed a correlation with the lowest risk for a heart attack or stroke, and thus enhancing cardiac care through the use of natural heart remedies.  The report showed that consuming fruits and vegetables play a major role in cardiac care, yet the particular component of these natural heart remedies, mainly citrus fruits, was statistically associated with the largest decrease in the incidence of stroke and heart attack.  Citrus fruits contain flavanones, which have been described to impart protective effects against heart attack and stroke.  Fruits and vegetables as sources for other types of flavonoids are good natural heart remedies against heart attack, yet the greatest reduction in cardiovascular diseases were observed in subjects who regularly consumed citrus fruits.

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