Here’s some news to shake up everything you thought you knew about your go-to breakfast beverage since childhood: Apparently, orange juice is much better at preserving your eye health than staving off flu symptoms. Yep, along with vitamin-A-packed carrots, the citrus fruit is great for your peepers, according to new research. And considering you’re reading this on a screen right now (AKA a pretty serious vision killer), you better add more to your diet, stat.
In a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers gave more than 2,800 participants aged 49 and older a food-frequency questionnaire to assess their dietary intake. After a follow-up 15 years later, they found that people who ate at least one orange a day reduced their risk of developing macular degeneration by 60 percent compared to those who didn’t. Researchers say that even eating one orange a week correlated with “significant” benefits. And apparently, those eye-opening results are likely due to the peeper-protecting flavonoids oranges contain.
People who ate at least one orange a day reduced their risk of developing macular degeneration—AKA vision loss—by 60 percent.
Though plenty of foods contain vitamins and nutrients that benefit your seeing power, oranges in particular pack an eye-boosting punch. “Flavonoids are powerful antioxidants found in almost all fruits and vegetables, and they have important anti-inflammatory benefits for the immune system,” says lead study author Bamini Gopinath, PhD, in a press release. “We 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.”
Since Mayo Clinic reports macular degeneration is common in those 65 and older—making it hard to read, drive, and even recognize faces—you’d be wise to start protecting yourself now by incorporating OJ into your morning routine. Talk about the sweetest-tasting medicine ever, right? (Seriously, in juice form, oranges pack quite the sugar punch per serving, so keep serving size in mind!)
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