Easy fix counters the damage of a fast food binge

Let’s face it… it’s not always convenient to make the best food choices.

Sure, if you plan ahead and stock your cupboards with fresh, whole foods you’ll feel good about your meals most of the time. But what about those times when you’re out and about… the hunger pangs strike… and the only thing in arm’s reach is a gooey slice of pizza?

No harm! Researchers have recently uncovered a simple (and delicious) way to counteract the effects of a few bad dietary choices. That means you can eat a slice of pizza on occasion and still hold on to your health…

All you need to do is eat more citrus fruits. Yes, indeed… oranges, lemons, limes and grapefruits galore can help you stay on a healthier tract if you fall victim to the unhealthy fats characteristic of the foods that make up the Western diet.

Researchers from Sao Paulo State University in Brazil found that mice who ate a high-fat, Western diet suffered from the same health problems as people who eat this way — cell damage, high blood sugar, high cholesterol and liver damage. But when mice ate citrus flavanones with this diet, it reduced the damage to their bodies… significantly.

That’s because these citrus flavanones are potent antioxidants that can reduce oxidative stress and quell inflammation. In their study, researchers used three specific flavanones from oranges, limes and lemons: hesperidin, eriocitrin and eriodictyol. By feeding these flavanones to mice on a high-fat, Western diet, researchers were able to:

  • Reduce the cell damage caused by a poor diet by over 50 percent
  • Reduce fat accumulation in the liver and liver damage
  • Lower cholesterol
  • Lower blood sugar

The flavanones failed to do one thing, however… they didn’t help the mice lose any weight. But they were nearly a cure-all for every other health problem caused by a poor diet. So these flavanones aren’t the solution to obesity, but they could be the solution to obesity-related health problems…

Researchers believe they could help treat everything from heart disease to liver disease to diabetes because of their ability to put out the fires of inflammation in your body.

If you’re ready to see the inflammation-squelching powers of citrus flavanones for yourself, there’s a long list of citrus fruits you can choose from. The most common are oranges, grapefruits, lemons, limes, citrons and tangerines.

You can also take a citrus bioflavanoid supplement to get more flavanone bang for your buck without overdosing on oranges. These supplements contain different flavonols, flavones, and flavanones—including some of the flavanones tested by researchers. Most of these supplements come in 500- 1,400 mg capsules. You can take one to two capsules per day to protect your body from free radicals, oxidative stress, inflammation, disease… and that occasional piece of pizza you just can’t live without.

Editor’s note: According to a study referenced in The Part-time Health Nut by Dr. Michael Cutler, researchers found that temptations to go off diets led to binges about 50 percent of the time. If you follow the Part-Time Health Nut Program, you’re allowed to indulge in ‘unhealthy’ eating about 20 percent of the time. Click to here to keep reading

Source: “Citrus fruits could help prevent obesity-related heart disease, liver disease, diabetes.” The American Chemical Society. ScienceDaily. https://www.sciencedaily.com. Retrieved August 22, 2016.

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Jenny Smiechowski

By Jenny Smiechowski

Jenny Smiechowski is a Chicago-based freelance writer who specializes in health, nutrition and the environment. Her work has appeared in online and print publications like Chicagoland Gardening magazine, Organic Lifestyle Magazine, BetterLife Magazine, TheFix.com, Hybridcars.com and Seedstock.com.