The old proverb of an apple a day keeps the doctor away is proving to be true.
If there is any one thing that you can do to stay well then it is to eat at least two apples daily according to a whole raft of new scientific research which places apples at the top of the healthy-living tree.
It may sound far-fetched but an apple contains so many beneficial ingredients that it will protect you from contracting a whole range of life threatening conditions such as cancer or suffering a stroke.
The latest pioneering research in America has revealed that drinking apple juice and eating apples can reduce the risk of heart disease.
The clinical trial involved healthy adults drinking 12oz of 100 per cent apple juice daily or eating two apples.
The time it took for cholesterol in the body to oxidise, or break down, increased by up to 20 per cent after just six weeks of following the apple diet.
It turns out that apples contain phytonutrients or phytochemicals (compounds found in plants) which act as antixiodents against LDL (low-density lipoproteins), the damaging portion of cholesterol in the blood stream.
Apples are also rich in pectins, which are soluble fibres which it has been demonstrated are effective in lowering cholesterol levels.
Dianne Hyson, a registered dietician and lead researcher of the study, said: 'Previous studies have shown that eating fruits and vegetables is associated with a reduced risk of coronary artery disease, but this is the first clinical study to show the potential benefits of active compounds in apple juice and apples. '
'A very moderate intake of apple juice or apples has the potential to reduce risk factors for heart disease in a fairly short period of time,' she said. 'These small diet changes might play an important role in a heart healthy diet.'
Volunteer, father of two Jack Farrell said: 'If I can get this result from just drinking 12ozs of apple juice a day, it's definitely worth making part of my daily routine.'
Other amazing facts about apples
Apples ward off strokes
Finnish researchers found that individuals who ate the most apples had the lowest risk of suffering a stroke, due to the benefits of the active compounds called phytonutrients found in apples.
Their conclusion was based on evaluation of dietary records and health outcomes of 9,208 men followed for 28 years.
Apples give you better lungs
British researchers found that apple eaters had better lung function than non-apple eaters. After analysing the health and dietary records of 2,512 men, scientists discovered a strong link between positive lung function and the number of apples eaten each week.
Although other researchers had suggested that vitamin C from fresh fruit was responsible for improving lung function, this investigation found otherwise. These researchers believe that it is the consumption of antioxidant-like phytonutrients in apples, such as flavonoids especially one member called quercetin which reduces the risk of cancer and heart attacks. This they say provides an explanation for the healthful effect of apples.
Apples beat cancer
Researchers in Hawaii found that an increased consumption of quercetin (from apples and onions) was associated with a reduced risk of lung cancer. This was supported by epidemiologists from Finland's National Public Health Institute who concluded that a flavonoid-rich diet (and particularly those flavonoids from apples) was associated with a reduced risk of developing cancer.
Their study of 9,959 cancer-free men and women revealed that people who regularly consumed the most flavonoid-rich foods were about 20 per cent less likely to develop cancer. The researchers found that lung cancer was 46 percent lower among those on these diets and that high consumption of apples was also directly associated with the lowest risk for coronary mortality.
This conclusion was based on their analysis of diet and health outcomes of an ongoing study of 5,133 Finnish men and women aged 30-69.
Apples fight heart disease
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