VIENNA, Va., Sept. 14, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- No matter how you slice it, the whole apple may be greater – and healthier – than the sum of its parts, according to a new review study published in the September 2011 Advances in Nutrition.
"Despite trends toward studying individual components of the apple, it appears the whole apple has beneficial properties that cannot be explained by certain nutrient components previously singled out," says Dr. Dianne Hyson, Ph.D., a registered dietitian and associate professor at California State University, Sacramento, who authored the review of recent research on apple health benefits.
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Mounting research suggests that apples and apple products (like apple juice, cider and apple sauce) may play an essential role in reducing the risk of many of the world's most prevalent diseases, including cancer and Alzheimer's disease, she says.
The review also underscores the beneficial effect of apples and apple products on weight management, bone health and digestive health. Furthermore, the antioxidants found in apples may have a protective effect on cardiovascular disease, asthma and diabetes.
"Apples contain polyphenols, natural antioxidant compounds found in fruits and vegetables that may help prevent and reduce disease," Hyson explains. "The concentration or amount of polyphenols in each apple varies depending on the variety, geographical region, environment, season and storage. These compounds also may influence color, flavor and taste."
Apples and apple products are top sources of polyphenols consumed in the United States and globally. Hyson notes that because apples and apple products are widely available year-round, they may have an important effect on the health of the populations consuming them.
Nancy Foster, president and CEO of the U.S. Apple Association, says as the 2011 harvest gets under way, the findings serve as an important reminder about the positive impact of apples. "The health benefits of apples are simply astounding. There's never been a better time to enjoy a healthy, delicious and abundant crop."
For more information or to read about additional studies on the health benefits of apples and apple products, visit www.USApple.org.
SOURCE U.S. Apple Association