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Preventing Heart Disease with Tangerines?

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Most of us are not opposed to taking traditional medicine. But if there’s a natural, safe and effective alternative that enables us to avoid those expensive office visits, painful injections, and handfuls of daily pills, then our interest picks up and inquiring minds want to know more! While medicines are most definitely beneficial and can cure – or keep at bay - a myriad of ills, most of us would simply prefer to be proactive and maintain good health naturally rather than fight a defensive battle with our health.

While more studies will be required, researchers from the University of Western Ontario may have hit a triple home run and identified a natural way to protect and prevent obesity, type 2 diabetes, and atherosclerosis or cardiovascular disease by adding tangerines to diets. The findings are particularly significant for those who are at risk for heart disease or stroke since obesity and type 2 diabetes are risk factors for both.

A citrus fruit, tangerines are a type of Mandarin orange. Depending on the variety, tangerines are generally in season from November through January. Sweeter than regular oranges, tangerines are low in calories, high in vitamin B6, iron, potassium, dietary fiber and vitamin C, and contain no cholesterol or fat. (Produce Oasis 1.) They also contain a flavonoid called nobiletin which lead researchers Murray Huff and Erin Mulvihill believe is responsible for the preventative and protective health benefits.

Flavonoids, sometimes referred to as bioflavonoids, are pigments that give plants their color. Water-soluble, flavonoids also possess certain properties – antiviral, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory - which make them beneficial to our health. (American Heritage 1.) As a part of the study, Huff and Mulvihill examined the effect nobiletin on factors related to metabolic syndrome such as, obesity, blood insulin levels, and cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Metabolic syndrome increases your risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease, which may also lead to an increased risk of stroke.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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