An apple, even a small one, but consumed every day lengthens life. In fact, this fruit improves the elasticity of the arteries and reduces the risk of premature death from disease and cancer by up to 35%. These noteworthy results comes from a major research initiated by the University of Western Australia in Perth and are presented in two scientific studies published in the journals Molecular Nutrition and Food Research (Bondonno et al, Mol Nutr Food Res, 2018) and British Journal of Nutrition (Hodgson et al, BJN, 2016).
The properties of the apple
The apple is the second most consumed fruit in the world, after the banana. The success of the apple is due to its practicality, it can in fact be carried and consumed anywhere, to the fact that it is fragrant and tasty, but above all to its important beneficial properties. The apple, in fact, provides fiber, vitamins, such as C, but also mineral salts, such as magnesium, potassium and fluorine for the health of the teeth and for the prevention of dental caries. Not only that, the apple also provides malic acid which helps digestion. The apple should always be eaten whole, including the peel, since it is in the peel that most of the flavonoids, which are precious antioxidants, are found. By eliminating the peel we would lose the benefits of these very important substances for health. Previously, several scientific studies were able to show that regular fruit intake protects against disease. However, the contribution of individual fruits had not been explored. For example, given its important properties, what in particular can the apple do for our health? The Australian team offers an answer to this question.
The apple peel protects the arteries
The first research analyzed the cardioprotective properties of the apple and in particular of its peel, the main source of flavonoids. 30 volunteers were divided into two groups. The first group was asked to consume a whole apple with the peel for one month. The second group, on the other hand, ate only the apple pulp for a month, removing the peel. What emerged at the end of the study was that those who had also consumed the peel of the apple had an increase in antioxidants in the blood and in the elasticity of the arteries. More elastic arteries allow a better supply of oxygen and nutrients to the tissues and cells of the body and reduce the risk of hypertension and cardiovascular diseases.
An apple a day extends life
The second study involved 1456 women over 70 years old. At the start of the study, the women had to fill out a questionnaire specifying how many apples and other fruit they ate per day. The volunteers were then followed up for 15 years to assess their health. What emerged was that those who consumed at least 100 grams of whole apple per day, the equivalent of a small apple, had a 35% lower risk of premature death from disease than those who consumed less than 5 grams of apple per day. Not only that, consuming an apple a day has also made it possible to reduce the risk of premature death from cancer. Similar results were also observed thanks to the intake of the banana, the first most consumed fruit in the world.
An apple a day extends life, as emerges from the studies we talked about today, by protecting the heart but also the entire body from cellular degeneration. The best choice, to fill up on antioxidants, is to consume the apple with the peel as it is in the peel that most of the flavonoids beneficial to health are found. For this purpose, it can be a good idea to choose organic apples and, in any case, whether the apple is organic or not, it is essential to wash the fruit very well before consuming it.