Blood Oranges Are A Healthier Treat, Says Study
Wanna cut your risk of heart disease? Cut up some blood oranges! According to a recent study, blood oranges are a healthier treat when it comes to your cardiovascular health. However, they are not easy to come by as they cannot be grown anywhere else apart from the Mediterranean region. So, if you can get your hands on some of these yummy fruits, rest assured, you are getting a good deal:
1) Tweaking Blond Oranges
Scientists have been able to tweak normal oranges into blood red by unlocking a technique that manipulates the orange’s genes. This technique works on the gene responsible for making an orange blood red and by activating this gene, scientists hope to turn a regular blond orange into blood red variety. The red pigment in the blood red oranges is believed to be ripe with health benefits including checking heart disease and obesity.
2) Blood Orange Benefits
The study conducted recently has found out that if you drink the juice of a blood orange regularly, you can even reduce the harmful effects associated with, say, a fat-laden full English breakfast. Now how’s that for a start?
3) The Study
The study was published in The Plant Cell journal and it describes the gene, responsible for all the qualities of a blood orange, as a “ruby” gene. The scientists have said that there is every possibility that this gene may also be activated in the normal oranges, thereby inducing them with blood red color as well as all the health benefits of the blood oranges.
4) The Difficulties
However, it is easier said than done because blood oranges can be grown under specific conditions and especially cold climate, which, at present is available only in the foothills of Mount Etna. This place in Sicily is the only location in the world where blood oranges can reliably be grown at a commercial level. As a result, it is not easy to lay your hands at blood oranges at supermarkets. The juice of a blood orange is £1 costlier than that of an ordinary orange juice.
5) The Findings
The research team belonged to the John Innes Centre in Norwich and was led by Professor Cathie Martin, who says, “Blood oranges contain naturally occurring pigments associated with improved cardiovascular health, controlling diabetes and reducing obesity. Our improved understanding of this trait could offer relatively straightforward solutions to growing blood oranges reliably in warmer climates through genetic engineering.” The pigments identified by the team are Anthocyanins, which are basically chemicals present in red, purple, and blue-colored fruits.
6) Other Studies
An earlier study, conducted in 2010, had found that when laboratory mice were kept on a high-fat diet and fed with blood orange juice at the same time, the Anthocyanins protected the mice from obesity. These mice developed 30% less fat than mice given water or ordinary orange juice along with a high-fat diet. In another study, conducted at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Campobasso, volunteers ate a full English breakfast and drank half a litre of blood orange juice. It was found that they were less at risk of blood clotting and showed reduced levels of arterial stiffness. The most pronounced impact of blood orange juice was found to be on the unhealthiest participants, which has shown hope for the obesity-ridden Americans.
7) Expert Speaks
Unfortunately, blood oranges are dependent on cold climate to attain a distinct pigmentation and a high level of Anthocyanins. Addressing a press conference, Prof. Martin said, “Hopefully in the near future, seven years down the line, we will have blood orange varieties which can be grown in the major orange-growing areas like Brazil and Florida. So blood orange juice will become more available worldwide and the healthy properties enjoyed by more and more people.” Prof. Martin further says, “There’s a lot of interest in identifying blood orange varieties that had arisen naturally that may not be dependent on this cold period. We searched all over the world and found one in China, unfortunately it was also dependent on the cold. The answer to the dilemma about how we can make more blood orange juice is to look to alternative methods. We know the gene required to turn on Anthocyanins production and we know the problem is that its control signals are dependent on the cold.” She adds, “We can change those control signals quite easily and transform this gene into a blond orange variety and create a cold blood orange but we need genetic engineering for that.”
8) Blood Orange Diet
So, what do you have to do to lose weight while on a blood orange diet? Here are your answers:
a. Eat 2 blood oranges every day.
b. Drink 12-16 Ounces of Blood Orange Juice daily.
c. Exercise regularly.
d. Eat Healthier variety of fruits and vegetables along with consuming blood oranges.
e. Don’t drink alcohol too much while on a blood orange diet.
It is now clear beyond doubt that blood oranges come loaded with health benefits. The only shame is that they are not readily available in your neighborhood supermarket. But with the scientists already working on the limitations, it will not be long before you can easily follow the blood orange diet. And if you are worried about whether this genetically modified (GM) variety of oranges can help your cause, rest assured. There is evidence that GM foods are good for mankind.