Drinking orange juice during or following a fast-food-style meal may help neutralize the oxidative and inflammatory stress often generated by high-fat, high-carbohydrate foods, a new study has found.
Orange juice contains a large amount of flavonoids known as naringenin and hesperidin, which are two of the most powerful antioxidants. Researchers from the University of Buffalo found that these compounds help reduce the accumulation of oxygen-free radicals contained in fast-food meals that are known to increase inflammation in blood vessel lining and contribute to the risk of heart disease.
"This did not happen when participants drank water or a sugary drink with the meal," said lead author Husam Ghanim "These issues of inflammation following a meal are important because the resultant high glucose and high triglycerides are known to be related to the development of cardiovascular events."
In the study, the researchers had three groups of participants consume a 900-calorie breakfast high in carbohydrates and fats. They discovered that respondents who drank either water or a glucose beverage had 63 percent more oxygen-free radicals in their blood after eating the meal. In contrast, those who drank orange juice only experienced a 47 percent increase after consuming the breakfast.