Reduce blood pressure, cholesterol and the risk of heart failure
THE EVIDENCE: Oranges contain a chemist’s worth of balms for the heart. Their soluble fibre, pectin, acts like a giant sponge, sopping up cholesterol in food and blocking its absorption—just as a class of drugs called bile-acid seques-trants do. And the potassium in oranges helps counterbalance salt, keeping blood pressure under control. But wait; there’s more. New research reveals something even more startling: citrus pectin helps neutralise galectin-3, a protein that causes scarring of heart tissue, which leads to congestive heart failure—a condition that doctors often find difficult to treat. TRY to eat orange pulp and pith; both contain pectin. You’ll get more pectin in pulp-rich juice, but it’s better to eat your oranges whole.
MORE: Your Heart-Healthy Eating Plan
Photo by Shutterstock May 9, 2012