Remember the saying: “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”? Well, there is more truth in that as we learn more about genomics and how fruit-derived antioxidants and other beneficial compounds from food or Nature may keep us healthier. There have been a number of research studies in recent years demonstrating benefits of apples and there are now apple derived plant stem cells appearing in some anti-aging creams. In fact, the Phloretin CF® antioxidant lotion from SkinCeuticals which we often recommend has some derivation from apples.
This new research study, though, demonstrated rather convincingly that eating white-fleshed fruit such as apples and pears (and also things like cauliflower, bananas and others) may significantly reduce the risk of stroke. The study from Dutch researchers looked at data from over 20,000 people from age 20 to 65 years old and examined their diet for an entire year. None of these people had known heart disease or stroke when this study began. They found that for EACH 25 gram daily ingestion of these white fruits and vegetables there was a 9% decrease in the risk of stroke.
FYI, a whole apple is about 120 grams or nearly 5 times this 25 gram dose – so truly even “an apple…” that is one apple per day may have very profound impact on this type of health risk. So while the study relied on people’s memory of their diet and those kinds of studies can have problems, the results of this study are still pretty compelling.
Personally, I usually eat about half an apple per day, and I now think that I will try to increase that a bit. So for those of you who have attended some of my lectures, you will know that I usually advise to have a daily intake of “brightly colored fruits, berries and vegetables”, and now you should add the “white fruits and veggies” to that list!
Note: this study was published online before print in the medical journal Stroke, DOI:10.1161/STROKEAHA.110.611152