Eating more of a miracle fruit could help prevent heart disease and slash risk of early death

Eating more of a miracle fruit could help prevent heart disease and slash risk of early death

A nutritionist discusses heart disease

Sarra Gray

By Sarra Gray

Published: 14/04/2024

- 10:06

Heart disease is one of the main causes of death but diet can be used to help prevent or treat heart illnesses

Eating more citrus fruits can reduce the risk of heart disease, according to various research.

Fruits such as oranges can reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) and help to treat them.

Research published in PubMed Central looked at the 10 most commonly consumed fruits to see their effects on preventing and treating CVDs. It found oranges are one of the best fruits to reduce the occurrence of the main risk factors for heart disease.

In fact, it referenced multiple studies that showed drinking orange juice alleviated indicators of heart disease including inflammatory stress hypertension and obesity.

Citrus fruits / woman eating fruit salad

Citrus fruits have many benefits


It concluded: "The findings indicated that orange could be used as a treatment regimen to prevent and control CVDs by inhibiting the enzymes and preventing oxidative damage."

This is not the only reason why oranges and other citrus foods could be good for your heart, according to research.

Oranges are high in pectin, which is a fibre found in fruits that has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease. Citrus pectins, such as those found in oranges and grapefruit, have been found to have many benefits.

A study carried out at the University of Florida College of Medicine found that supplementing grapefruit pectin could significantly reduce cholesterol, without any other lifestyle changes.

In the study, the grapefruit pectin helped decrease plasma cholesterol by 7.6 per cent and LDL cholesterol by 10.8 per cent in those who were at medium to high risk for coronary heart disease because of hypercholesterolemia.

"[Citrus] membranes are rich in a type of dietary fibre called pectin, which is what we would call a viscous fibre," registered dietitian who specialises in cancer prevention and heart health Karen Collins told

"That is the type of fibre that can help lower (bad) LDL cholesterol and seems to be what they call a prebiotic that helps to nurture the healthy bacteria in our gut."

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruit, lemons and limes contain the most pectin.


Oranges in bowl

Experts share the benefits of oranges on the heart


One more study published in the National Library of Medicine found the Gal-3 inhibitor modified citrus pectin protects against cardiac dysfunction.

This comes as research suggested easy food swaps could help prevent hundreds of thousands of deaths from heart-related conditions.

In the UK alone, reducing red meat intake by eight per cent and replacing it with forage fish like sardines and herring could prevent 10 per cent of heart disease deaths in the coming 26 years.

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