Gulping down some more of those juicy oranges and grapefruits sounds like an intelligent idea if we plan to go by this report. Experts at the American Heart Association have revealed that citrus fruits may reduce the risk of encountering stroke in women.

For the trial, almost 69,622 women were instructed to report their daily dietary intakes including their fruit and vegetable consumptions. An apparent link between cumulative flavonoid intake and stroke risk came forward. Especially, a class of flavonids called flavanones seemed to lower blood clot-related stroke by 19% in women who consumed high levels of the same. This effect was not seen in women who did not have high amounts of flavanones in their bodies.

“Studies have shown higher fruit, vegetable and specifically vitamin C intake is associated with reduced stroke risk. Flavonoids are thought to provide some of that protection through several mechanisms, including improved blood vessel function and an anti-inflammatory effect,” quoted Aedín Cassidy, Ph.D., the study’s lead author and professor of nutrition at Norwich Medical School in the University of East Anglia in Norwich, United Kingdom.

Flavanones are essentially found in oranges and grape fruits. However, the team advises individuals to consume the fruits and not just their juices. This is primarily because commercially available fruit juices may have high sugar content.

However, the scientists are not very clear on the protective effect of flavanones and have plans to conduct further studies. The report is published in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.