When you think of health foods today thoughts of nut milks, protein balls, Himalayan berries come to mind. Whilst these are all very healthy foods they fail to inspire the soul.

The Science behind the colour RED

What if there was a natural food grown here in Australia that is not only very good for your body but which is a feast to the eye and taste buds. There is such a food. Blood oranges.

Blood oranges have a distinct deep crimson colour, thanks to the anthocyanins produced in the flesh of the fruit. Redbelly Citrus, Australia’s premium blood orange growers call the anthocyanins found in the blood oranges grown by them VitaminRED®. The mix of anthocyanins constituting  VitaminRED® have been demonstrated to reduce the impacts of modern life and improve health.

Blood Orange Juice and Obesity Prevention

Eat yourself slim? It seems unlikely however in a 2010 paper[1] it was demonstrated that lab mice that were given unfettered access to blood orange juice did not get fat as compared to the control groups who were given access to regular orange juice or even water!

The authors stated that blood orange juice effectively counteracted the consequence of the high fat diet that ordinarily resulted in obesity. Other more recent studies have demonstrated blood orange juice’s ability to prevent fatty livers in mice[2].

Shorter: Blood orange juice counters the effect of a fatty diet.

Blood Orange Extract and UV Damage

An effective sunscreen through eating?  Two papers published in recent years have looked at the effect of the consumption of an extract made from flesh of blood oranges. Blood orange extract consumption was shown to strengthen skin defences, protecting skin from damaging processes involved in photo-aging and leading to an improvement in skin appearance and pigmentation[3]. The same extract was shown to also prevent skin damage post UV exposure[4].

Shorter: consumption of blood orange extracts made from blood orange fruit can prevent skin spots and signs of aging from developing post UV exposure

Blood Orange Extract and Prevention of Oxidative Damage Due To Pollution and Smoking 

A food to counter the negative effects of smoking and air pollution? A study conducted on Italian traffic officers, some of whom smoked cigarettes found that consuming blood orange extract led to a reduction biomarkers for early cytogenic damage induced by air pollution or cigarettes. This led the authors of the studies to suggest that consumption of blood oranges would be beneficial to subjects exposed to high levels of oxidative stresses[5].

Shorter: consumption of blood orange extracts made from blood orange fruit results in less damage from oxidation due to pollution and smoking. 

[1] Blood orange juice inhibits fat accumulation in mice. Titta L1, Trinei M, Stendardo M, Berniakovich I, Petroni K, Tonelli C, Riso P, Porrini M, Minucci S, Pelicci PG, Rapisarda P, Reforgiato Recupero G, Giorgio M. Int J Obes (Lond). 2010 Mar; 34(3):578-88. Download Paper Here

[2]Moro orange juice prevents fatty liver in mice. Federico Salamone, Giovanni Li Volti, Lucilla Titta, Lidia Puzzo, Ignazio Barbagallo, Francesco La Delia, Shira Zelber-Sagi, Michele Malaguarnera, Pier Giuseppe Pelicci, Marco Giorgio, Fabio Galvano Int J Obes (Lond). 2010 Mar; 34(3):578-88.Download Paper Here

[3] Protective effect of red orange extract supplementation against UV-induced skin damages: photoaging and solar lentigines. Puglia C1, Offerta A, Saija A, Trombetta D, Venera C. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2014 Jun;13(2):151-7.Download Paper Here

[4] In vitro antioxidant activity and in vivo photoprotective effect of a red orange extract.  Saija A, Tomaino A, Lo Cascio R, Rapisarda P, Dederen JC.  Int J Cosmet Sci. 1998 Dec;20(6):331-42.Download Paper Here

[5] Protective effects of a standardised red orange extract on air pollution-induced oxidative damage in traffic police officers. Bonina FP, Puglia C, Frasca G, Cimino F, Trombetta D, Tringali G, Roccazzello A, Insiriello E, Rapisarda P, Saija A. Nat Prod Res. 2008;22(17):1544-51.Download Paper Here