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Strong and full of energy at all ages with apples and blackberries

Strong and full of energy at all ages with apples and blackberries

June 01, 2023
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Keeping yourself healthy, strong and full of energy, even as you get older, this is possible by including in your diet some foods, starting now. In particular, including foods such as apples or blackberries in one's daily diet has been shown, over the long term, to counteract fatigue, weakness and the risk of falls and fractures. What has been stated emerges from a very recent scientific research which appeared in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and which summarizes the work of a team of American and Dutch scientists from the Harvard Medical School in Boston and Wageningen University (Oei et al, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Apr 2023).

Frailty, tiredness and falls

Experts speak of frailty meaning a condition that takes over as the years progress and which causes physical decline. In particular, the person has limited energy reserves, feels fatigued and weak, begins to find it difficult to carry out daily activities and to ensure regular physical activity. It also increases the risk of falls, fractures and hospitalization. However, it is possible to counteract this decline and the feelings of weakness and fatigue it brings and this can be done now and from any age. In fact, some dietary choices have proven to be particularly protective over the long term. But let's try to understand better.

Foods for frailty, the study

Scientists drew on health and lifestyle data from more than 1,600 people participating in the large Framingham Heart Study between 1998 and 2001. The average age of the volunteers was 58 years old and all were in good health, physical and mental, with no signs of frailty. Based on the answers provided through a questionnaire, the scientists evaluated the intake of flavonoids, which are antioxidant substances, and their subgroups, such as flavonols, anthocyanins and flavones, supplied by the diet. After 12 years the volunteers were tested to assess their health conditions. What emerged was that those who used to consume a greater quantity of foods rich in flavonols also had a lower risk of developing frailty. In particular, among the various flavonols contained in foods, quercetin has shown the greatest protective action. In fact, each increase of 10mg per day of quercetin was able to reduce the risk of frailty by 35%. It is believed that this action is due to quercetin's ability to counteract free radical damage and inflammation.


So, if we want to stay strong and full of energy, let's try to ensure a daily intake of quercetin. Since quercetin acts over the long term, this means that we are building our future health even now and that it is never too early, but also never too late, to opt for this healthy food choice. And then it is not difficult to reach the recommended amount of quercetin. In fact, there are several foods that contain quercetin and all easily available, such as apples, blackberries, cherries, red grapes, onions, kale, broccoli and tea. A medium-sized apple, about 200 grams, provides just 10 mg of quercetin, the amount that reduces the risk of fragility by 35%. So, as always, it should be said, an apple a day keeps the doctor away!

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