Neuroinflammatory processes in the brain are believed to play a crucial role in the development of neurodegenerative diseases, especially due to increased production of reactive oxygen species. The brain is susceptible to oxidative stress more than other organs due to the low activity of antioxidant defense systems. In agreement with these observations, increased oxidative stress plays an important role in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer disease, Parkinson disease, ischemic diseases and aging. The Mediterranean diet is inspired by the traditional dietary pattern of some countries of the Mediterranean basin. From ancient times, these populations were characterized by simple food habits as high intake of whole cereals (pasta, bread, rice), fruits and vegetables (up to 400 g day−1 in Greece), legumes and fish, olive oil as the common source of fats, poor intake of meat and dairy products and a moderate, regular wine drinking. In the present chapter, there are going to be presented some bioactive substances present in the Mediterranean diet related to the prevention of neurodegenerative diseases. These substances are able to exert important antioxidant activity (through mechanisms such as sequestration of free radicals, inhibition of the production of hydrogen peroxide, activation of endogenous defense mechanisms.
Part of the book: Current Topics on Superfoods
Citrus has been proposed as an interesting ingredient in the elaboration of food products as soft drinks due to its distinctive aroma and high nutritive value. It is a rich source of nutrients that contains higher amounts of vitamin C, citric acid, minerals, and flavonoids, especially flavanones and flavones (reaching values of 400–600 mg/L) and in lesser amounts flavonols and hydroxycinnamic acids. Citrus flavonoids decrease capillary permeability and are beneficial in the treatment of vascular diseases. Scientific studies suggest that the ingestion of food products based on citrus fruits improves the blood lipid profile, reduces oxidative stress, prevents atherogenic modifications of LDL and platelet aggregation, as well as contributes to the improvement of HDL levels. Other benefits attributed to citrus are antiaging, anticancer, neuroprotective, and antidiabetic. The present revision tries to empathize the most relevant studies regarding citrus and health.
Part of the book: Citrus