The risk of developing inflammatory disorders like rheumatoid arthritis may be reduced by eating more brightly-coloured fruits and vegetables like oranges, carrots and sweetcorn.
Vitamin C and the pigment beta-cryptoxanthin, both of which are found in brightly-coloured fruit and veg, may act as antioxidants, and protect the body against the oxidative damage and inflammation.
The levels of intake of anti-oxidants who had developed inflammatory polyarthritis was significantly lower than those who did not. Vitamin C was found to be an important factor and those in the top third for beta-cryptoxanthin intake were only half as likely to develop IP as those in the lowest third.
The findings appear to confirm previous evidence that a modest increase in fruit and vegetables containing beta-cryptoxanthin and vitamin C, equivalent to one glass of freshly-squeezed orange juice each day, might help to protect against developing inflammatory joint diseases.
The findings are consistent with the previously published data supporting that both low intakes of fruit and vegetables and high levels of red meat consumption are high risk factors for developing IP.