Eating an orange a day can keep certain cancers away, according to a new Australian study.
The government's key research group, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), found consuming citrus fruits could reduce the risk of mouth, larynx and stomach cancers by up to 50 percent.
One extra serve of citrus a day -- on top of the recommended five daily servings of fruit and vegetables -- could also reduce the risk of a stroke by 19 percent.
"Citrus fruits...protect the body through their antioxidant properties and by strengthening the immune system, inhibiting tumor growth and normalizing tumor cells," CSIRO researcher Katrine Baghurst said in a statement.
The Australian study, which was based on 48 international studies on the health benefits of citrus fruits, also found "convincing evidence" that citrus could reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, obesity and diabetes.
Baghurst said oranges have the highest level of antioxidants of all fruit, with more than 170 different phytochemicals, including more than 60 flavonoids shown to have anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor and blood clot inhibiting properties.
(Reuters December 4, 2003)