Medical research indicates that a diet rich in vegetables and fruit help to reduce the risk of developing several chronic diseases.
Apples are widely consumed and are a rich source of potent antioxidants. Studies have linked its consumption with a reduced risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, certain cancers and asthma.
Laboratory evaluation have found apples possess significant antioxidant activity. They stopped cancer cell growth, lower cholesterol and reduce fat oxidation (damage).
Apples contain a variety of powerful antioxidants including quercitin and catechin.
Several studies have specifically linked consuming apples with a reduced risk for cancer, particularly lung cancer. A study conducted in the Netherlands of over 120,000 people found fruit and vegetable consumption was linked to a 21 per cent reduction of lung cancer in women, but this association was not present in men. Other studies have made similar observations in women and men, including a Finnish study of over 10,000 women and men followed for over two decades. There was a strong relationship between low flavonoid intake and lung cancer development.
Also, apple consumption is linked to a 35 per cent reduced risk of heart disease in a study of 40,000 women followed for almost 7 years.
A reduced risk for developing asthma and general lung health is also related to a higher intake of apples. A recent study conducted in Australia involving 1600 adults found that pear and apple intake is associated with a decrease in lung airway hypersensitivity and asthma, but that overall fruit and vegetable consumption was not associated with asthma risk or the severity of the disease. Another study determined that selenium and apple intake were associated with reduced incidence of asthma in adults in England. Apple and orange consumption are associated with fewer cases of asthma in a study conducted in Finland involving over 10,000 men and women.
Improved and objectively measure lung function were positively linked to apple, citrus fruit and squash consumption. Apple consumption remained positively linked with lung function after accounting for other factors including smoking, exercise, body mass index, socioeconomic status. People consuming more than 5 apples a week had better lung function than those who did not eat apples.