Can an Apple a Day Really Keep the Doctor
By Steve Edwards
funny how much merit folklore, old wives' tales, and clichés can turn
out to have under scientific scrutiny. Now, numerous studies are confirming one
of the more common adages of our time: an apple a day can, indeed, keep the
A Canadian study in 2005 concluded
that apples are extremely high in antioxidants. When your body lacks vital
antioxidants, your immune system becomes overworked, your energy and stamina
decline, and free radical damage begins to occur, which can lead to illness.
out about how to boost your antioxidant levels by clicking here.
What makes apples so a-peeling?
Research has shown that a diet rich in fruits and
vegetables reduces the risks of heart disease, diabetes, and a host of other
chronic diseases. A new study just concluded that apples also have very high
cancer-fighting properties. The study, published in May of this year, states
that apples may be a standout in the antioxidant crowd. The researchers
identified a group of phytochemicals that proved to be potent against at least
three different types of human cancer cells: breast, colon, and liver.
Both of these studies confirmed that
the peel was the most vital part of the fruit. Traditionally, apple peels had
been considered healthy because of their fiber contentthe peel contains
about 75 percent of an apple's total dietary fiber. The 2007 study screened a
group of phytochemicals with powerful anticancer effects. The results showed
that apple peels had far more potent antioxidant activity and anti-cell
proliferation properties against human cancer cells than did the apple flesh.
How do you like them apples?
Apples have lower concentrations of antioxidants than
some other fruits, particularly many berries, but researchers believe that
their year-round availability and greater popularity make them an ideal source
of antioxidants for the masses. Older studies have also linked apple
consumption to a reduced risk of lung cancer, heart disease, and strokes.
Researchers say they're just beginning to understand exactly
which compounds found in fruits and vegetables are responsible for these
healthy benefits. Much of the recent research has focused on the anticancer
properties of a group of phytochemicals known as phenolics, which are typically
found in the seeds and skins of fruits and vegetables. There is still a lot to
learn about what makes fruits and veggies such an essential part of our diet
can read here for the fruits and veggies that are among "The Best Food on the
Regardless of the unknowns, we can
still conclude that when it comes to keeping the doctor away, not much beats an
apple a day.
Agric. Food Chem., 53 (12). 4989-4995, 2005. 10.1021/jf048289h
S0021-8561(04)08289-5. Web Release Date: May 14, 2005.; Journal of
Agriculture and Food Chemistry, Vol. 55, No. 11, May 30, 2007: 4366-4370.;
ScienceDaily.com, American Chemical Society, May 22, 2007.