Can an apple a day really keep the doctor away?

A person holding an apple. — Unsplash

The saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” could actually have some truth to it, researchers say. A team of experts conducted a review of more than 150 studies to reach the conclusion. 

Researchers concluded that an apple, along with some berries and tea —can protect the health of the heart if these things are consumed every day. The scientists recommended that people take two cups of tea daily along with an apple and a few berries.

The goal, researchers said, was to deliver flavan-3-ols — a “bioactive” compound to the body. The aforementioned combination provides nearly 500mg of the compound which is considered good for the heart.

The review study found that the chemical was also present in dark chocolate. It can improve blood pressure, blood sugar levels, and cholesterol.

Professor Gunter Kuhnle, an expert in nutrition at the University of Reading, affirmed that flavan-3-ols can boost health.

Dietary recommendations are usually to prevent nutritional deficiencies. Doctors want to make sure people have the essential minerals, vitamins, and fats.

Several studies have proven that flavan-3-ols has significant health benefits and helps maintain well-being. It also protects people from disease, which the researchers said was the main reason they investigated the compound.

An international team that was funded by the US Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics analysed data from 157 randomised controlled trials and 15 cohort studies.

Since the bioactive chemical was found associated with lowering blood pressure, it was also linked to lowering the risk of heart attacks and strokes, that is, keeping the cardiovascular system healthy.

Since the chemical lowers the blood sugar level, it can reduce the chances of eye and nerve damage.

“To reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease, we recommend consuming 400mg-600mg of flavan-3-ols, per day,” Dr Kuhnle said.

“It is far more effective to take in your daily amount as healthy food or beverages than to take a supplement.”

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