An Orange a Day May Help Prevent Diabetes

An apple a day keeps the doctor away. You’ve heard that phrase before. It’s no doubt a healthier option than eating burgers, fries, and soda on a daily basis. But maybe it’s not the ideal fruit to protect your health and prevent disease. Instead of munching and crunching your way through a crisp apple, have an orange, grapefruit, or other citrus fruit.

Why? New research suggests that citrus fruits contain vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants that help prevent a long list of health problems typically associated with obesity, like diabetes. If more people ate an orange a day, it could have a dramatic impact on disease prevention, according to the American Chemical Society.

Researchers also found that eating oranges (or other citrus fruits) also helped reduce the risk for heart disease and liver disease. How does it work? Flavonones found in citrus fruits help reduce inflammation and oxidative stress (which is common in people who are overweight or obese). After a month or citrus-fruit consumption, lab tests also showed improvements in liver function, cholesterol levels, and blood sugar levels.

Pretty sweet, kind of like a juicy orange. So should you start eating a ton or oranges or raising your dose of vitamin C supplements? Probably not. But adding an orange, grapefruit, or other citrus fruit to your daily diet may help prevent or control diabetes, and provide other protective health benefits.

If you have diabetes, prediabetes, or want to avoid developing the condition, eating citrus fruits can help. Eating a balanced diet, getting regular exercise, and losing weight if you need to can help too. And it doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, simply making smarter food choices that are diabetic-friendly can tip the scale in the right direction.