During a frigid meeting with a Russian diplomat in the 1880’s, Queen Victoria found herself unable to relieve the chilly hands. To warm herself, Victoria slipped her hands inside her royal robe. Her Russian counterpart leapt back, misunderstanding her movements, believing was reaching for a weapon. As the story goes, Queen Victoria only stopped an international incident with a quick apology and a charming explanation. Hesperidin, a powerhouse phytonutrient in citrus, may not improve your statecraft, but there are good reasons to believe it could improve the cold sensitivity in your hands and feet.
Researchers in 2023 took a group of healthy volunteers and dunked their hands in cold water before measuring the rate at which blood flowed back into them. At the coldest temperatures, the patients who’d ingested hesperidin measured double the rate of those who’d taken a placebo. When we experience cold, blood vessels constrict, reducing flow. And this reduction in circulation is the most common cause of feeling cold hands and feet, whether caused by natural inclination or researchers in a lab.
The significance of this extends beyond the comfort of warm hands. It underscores the critical role of blood flow for every part of you including vital organs like the brain. Maintaining optimal blood circulation is vital for overall health, protecting against potential risks like stroke and supporting optimal cognitive function.
To this end, citrus fruits in particular boast an incredible number of valuable nutrients. Alongside hesperidin, various flavonoids like quercetin, naringin, and rutin provide antioxidant properties, aiding in combatting oxidative stress and inflammation within the body. Additionally, their high vitamin C content contributes to immune support and skin health.
The next time you have chilly hands or feet, consider a glass of orange juice by the fire. Better yet, grab an orange. This delicious fruit can be a great way to help maintain a healthy body.
If you would like to talk to someone about a persistent chill in your hands and feet, reach out via our New Patient Fast Track.