Not only does an apple a day keep the doctor away, just eating one apple a day could reduce your chances of a fatal heart by 60 per cent. It could even be as good as a statin drug for lowering cholesterol levels or as an antihypertensive for bringing down your blood pressure. You just need to eat 100g of fruit - the equivalent of half an apple - every day. But it's important that the fruit is fresh and not processed.
Researchers from Oxford University monitored the health and diets of more than half a million Chinese men and women. Fruit is not a staple of the typical Chinese diet, so it's easy to track how it helps the minority who do eat it regularly.
Regular fruit eaters reduce their risk of a fatal heart attack by 60 percent, and their chances of major heart problems and stroke by 66 percent. This was borne out by reduced blood pressure and cholesterol levels. The study ran for seven years and underlined the results of previous studies that found that the lack of fruit in the diet was one of the leading causes of death in China. The researchers reckon that regularly eating fruit could prevent 500,000 heart deaths a year in China, and even more non-fatal strokes and heart attacks.
"It is remarkable how closely the history of the apple tree is connected with that of man." Henry David Thoreau.
Perhaps the humble apple tree should be renamed the 'Tree of Life'. Our apple trees have served us well over the years and it's good to see an abundant fresh new crop of fruit growing on the trees right now.
NEnglJMed, 2016; 374: 1332-43