PROVO, Utah, Dec. 29 (UPI) -- What makes fruit so healthy is not one compound or another but how fruit compounds combine, a U.S. nutritionist says.
Tory Parker of Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, says oranges, blueberries, strawberries and other fruits are so healthful because they contain powerful combinations of compounds. This is the reason why the whole orange is healthier than the orange's components taken separately.
"There's something about an orange that's better than taking a vitamin C capsule, and that's really what we're trying to figure out," Parker says in a statement."We think it's the particular mixture of antioxidants in an orange that makes it so good for you.
"Carbs and fat increase free radicals, and fruit and internal antioxidants counteract that -- that means fruit should be your desert," Parker says in a statement."We're looking for synergistic effects -- cases where the effect of two or more antioxidants together was stronger than the sum of them separately."
Parker and colleagues will be seeking patents for some of the identified combinations of antioxidants that were the most synergistic -- especially involving the compounds hesperidin and naringenin -- that seemed to contribute the most.
The findings are published in the Journal of Food Science.