From Navel Oranges, to Clementines and Blood Oranges – citrus just tastes best in winter, they’re sweeter, are at their juiciest and have a lot of nutrition to offer too! These pulpy fruits deliver a high dose of vitamin C; in fact, just one serving contains 91mg, which fulfills 101-121% of your daily needs. Research also suggests vitamin C can help stave off the sniffles, support bone strength and eye health.
A study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that just one daily serving of oranges is likely to help keep your eyes healthy when it comes to age-related macular degeneration (AMD), but they didn’t look at the traditional vitamins that support eye health, like Vitamins A, C or E. Instead they looked at flavonoids which are strong antioxidants that have anti-inflammatory benefits. Researchers reviewed the diets of over 2,000 adults age 49 or older using food frequency questionnaires. After a 15-year follow-up, they found that people who included one serving of oranges or orange juice daily, had a 60% reduced risk for developing AMD. Lead researcher, Bamini Gopinath, explained that they looked at other sources of flavonoids such as tea and red wine, however these foods did not offer the same eye protection as oranges.
With AMD, the ability to see fine details is diminished as a result of damage to the retina of the eye. It is very common and is the leading cause of vision loss in people over 50. The American Academy of Ophthalmology describes AMD as being able to see a clock and its numbers, but you are unable to see its hands.
Take advantage of the season with these Dole recipes:
Beet, Fennel & Mandarin Orange Salad
Couscous Stuffed Oranges
Banana Orange Smoothie
Bonus: A follow up study by the same researchers found that consuming 100g vegetable nitrates daily, found naturally in green leafy vegetables and beetroot,(not to be confused with nitrates added to processed foods as a preservative) had a 35% lower risk of developing AMD. For example, 100g or ~ ½ cup cooked spinach has about 20mg nitrates.