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“An apple a day keeps the doctor away” according to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. When the dietary habits of more than 34,000 women were recorded, apples were one of the three foods that had the highest correlation with reduction of both cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease. The other two foods are pears and red wine.
The source of the health-giving properties in these three foods is a group of plant compounds called flavonoids. Based on food-frequency questionnaires and flavonoid data from the US Department of Agriculture, researchers were able to approximate the flavonoid consumption of the women and to calculate the impact on their health. The researchers found that flavonoid-rich foods like apples were associated with a reduction in coronary heart disease and cardiovascular disease mortality and overall mortality.
The highest concentration of flavonoid quercetin in an apple is found in the peel. The peel proctects the fruit from the sun and serves as a barrier to prevent microbes from getting into the fruit. When you eat an apple with the peel, the ingestion of quercetin is a powerful defense against free radicals (five times more so than vitamin C) that helps prevent viruses and bacteria from replicating.
What you eat has a profound effect on your risk for numerous degenerative diseases. Eating as many fruits and vegetables as possible–including an apple every day–helps to accumulate health benefits along the way. If you get tired of apples, switch to pears.