When scientists at Cornell University investigated the anti-aging potential of a popular fruit they uncovered a stunning collection of natural compounds that support better health and longer life.
Their laboratory tests revealed that consuming this fruit is associated with reducing many common ailments that can complicate our senior years. Read on for the story…
As the old adage goes, “an apple a day can keep the doctor away.” Now, modern science shows us why…
Apples are one of the most popular fruits in the U.S. And that’s a good thing, because apple eaters consume beneficial antioxidant phytochemicals with every bite. In fact, according to studies at Cornell, the natural compounds in apples possess characteristics that improve the body’s resistance to a variety of stressors that can accelerate aging – helping to fight back against the harmful effects of infections, ultraviolet radiation, and oxidative stress.1
These phytochemicals support better function of the immune system and the researchers have evidence that along with extending life expectancy they extend what is called healthspan – how long we can live without disabilities and life-compromising diseases.
And if you want the best health benefits from an apple don’t forget to eat the peel!
Eating the Peel is Critical
According to research in Asia, the compounds in the peel are especially important for fighting destructive oxidative stress in the body – providing protection against damage to cells from oxidative free radicals that can otherwise hamper good health.
In this research, the scientists found that the benefits of the apple peel are increased by also consuming blueberries.
Their tests show that a combination of blueberry and apple peel extracts synergistically improve the activity of the body’s antioxidant enzymes and epigenetically boost the activity of the body’s inborn defenses.2
Keeping Heart Health on Track
Adding to apples’ longevity benefits, research in Japan demonstrates that compounds in this fruit called b-type procyanidins can reduce the risk of heart attacks, strokes, high blood pressure and insulin resistance.3
The Japanese investigation shows that procyanidins provide positive health benefits by producing what’s called a hormetic response – this means causing a certain type of low level stress to the body that activates the body’s own defenses against chronic disease. The researchers refer to this stress as “optimal stress.” It affects the sympathetic nervous system in a way that provides extra cardiovascular support. (The sympathetic nervous system connects our internal organs to the brain. It controls heart rate along with blood flow to the muscles and skin.)
But it’s Only the Beginning…
Other research has shown additional benefits associated with eating apples:
- People with Parkinson’s who eat apples and other fruit with similar flavonoids live longer: A study at Penn State that focused on older people with Parkinson’s disease found that those who ate apples three times a week (or berries and oranges) had a greater life expectancy. The 33-year study found that folks who ate apples and other fruit rich in flavonoids (chemicals that plants use to fight off infections) had a 70 percent better chance of not dying during the study than the non-fruit consumers.4
- Eating apples can help the brain produce new brain cells: Research that involved scientists from Australia and Germany indicates that the brain’s ability to learn and retain information is supported by substances in apples that help regenerate neurons. In these lab tests, the apple compounds helped improve the structures of the brain associated with better memory and recall.5
All of the investigations I’ve cited here just barely scratch the surface of the research into the anti-aging potential of apples. For instance, there’s another compound in apples called phloridzin that has been shown in laboratory tests to produce epigenetic longevity effects on our DNA.6
So, there’s plenty more health benefits to discover. But meanwhile, every time you munch on an apple, you can be sure you’re nibbling on a chance for healthier aging.