Don’t Forget The Humble Apple

Many of us try hard to get berries of all different sorts into our diets – which is no bad thing – but a recent review of apples reminded me that we shouldn’t disregard their quite substantial health benefits either. In this age of expensive food, apples might save a few pennies over berries and you won’t have to worry you’re not getting enough of your antioxidants.

In the review – courtesy of WDDTY – apple research suggests eating the organic fruit with peel on can help with all sorts including:


Tests at the University of Wisconsin revealed that apple peel can slow the growth of prostate and breast cancer cells—probably because of the “exceptionally high” levels of antioxidants it contains, which are known to have anticancer effects.


This is thought to be because of the significant amount of the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory quercetin they contain. Quercetin is also found in onions, berries, red wine, and other foods and drinks, but apples are one of the top sources.

Weight loss

Eating the whole apple rather than juice with fibre added in studies seems to be very satisfying so people tend to eat less generally.

Cholesterol, diabetes and asthma were all also cited as being helped by the old-fashioned apple a day.

The report then answered the question that was foremost in my mind – which apples should we eat?


Factfile: Which apple’s best?

Some apples might do a better job of keeping the doctor away than others, according to some research. Two important compounds in apples that appear to be important for health are flavonoids and phenolics—and different varieties of apples vary greatly in how much of these they contain.  

According to tests carried out by researchers at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, of 10 most commonly consumed varieties in the US, Fuji apples had the highest total phenolic and flavonoid compounds, followed closely by Red Delicious, Northern Spy and Gala, whereas Cortland and Empire apples were among the varieties with the lowest amounts of phenolics and flavonoids.

The researchers also discovered that the antioxidant activity of apples differed from one variety to another and was positively associated with the level of phenolics—in other words, the apple varieties with the higher levels of phenolics tended to have greater antioxidant activity (Nutr J, 2004; 3: 5).

Joanna Evans

Source: WDDTY vol 23 no.6

I shall be buying organic Red Delicious and Gala mostly then as I don’t think I’ve seen Fuji ones anywhere, and it might not be a bad idea to vary your apple types around to get the different phenolic compound levels.

Actually, I feel rather virtuous that I made five apple and raspberry crumbles this morning with a bag of ‘fallers’ my brother in law dropped in for me yesterday from his allotment! Imagine smug smile…

4 Replies to “Don’t Forget The Humble Apple”

  1. You made five crumbles? We have enough in this house, where I live with your brother-in-law, to make fifty-five. Someone give me a banana.

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