02.03.2024

Sydney food scientist reveals how eating fresh apples every day can reduce the risk ofAlzheimer’s disease

A top scientist has revealed a surprising benefit apples can have on your brain health. Food scientist Dr Vincent Candrawinata said there is good evidence to suggest eating apples regularly can improve memory and may lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

The Sydney health researcher said eating more apples could ‘help you remember where you put your car keys’ as they contain vitamins and minerals that have been linked to memory preservation.

He said the fruit is rich in phenolics such as flavonoids which may help lower the risk of Alzheimer’s by protecting the brain from harmful substances.

Dr Vincent said flavonoids can also be found in many other fruits and vegetables and are also a strong antioxidant agent which can lessen symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Food scientist Dr Vincent Candrawinata said there is good evidence to suggest eating apples regularly can improve memory and may lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease

Dr Vincent cited an American study of 2,800 participants aged 50 which found those who ate lower flavonoid-rich foods were two to four times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s and related dementias over a 20-year period.

‘Flavonoids are phenolic compounds occurring in fruits like apples and pears, and vegetables like kale and spinach. You can even find them in chocolate and wine! These compounds, when absorbed properly, are beneficial to our health,’ he said.

‘Studies have shown that higher dietary intakes of flavonoids and their subclass of flavonols might be associated with reducing the risk of developing Alzheimer’s.’

He explained a higher intake of apples can give the body important vitamins and minerals that protect brain cells from neurotoxicity which can lead to such neurodegenerative disorders.

‘Neurotoxicity occurs when the body’s nervous system is exposed to natural or man-made toxic substances and alters the normal activity of the nervous system. Eventually this could lead to disrupting or killing brain neurons.’ he said.

The Sydney health researcher said apples are rich in phenolics such as flavonoids which help lower the risk of Alzheimer's by protecting the brain from harmful substances (stock image)

The Sydney health researcher said apples are rich in phenolics such as flavonoids which help lower the risk of Alzheimer’s by protecting the brain from harmful substances (stock image)

‘Neurotoxicity can occur as a result of exposure to substances used in chemotherapy, radiation treatment, drug therapies or even exposure to heavy metals like mercury and certain food additives, pesticides, industrial and cleaning solvents and cosmetics.’

The clinical nutritionist added while there is no cure for or even a known cause of Alzheimer’s, there are ways to lower the possibility of developing the disease.

‘Leading a healthy lifestyle including eating a balanced diet and maintaining fitness are both great ways that can help reduce your risk of developing the disease,’ he said.

‘It’s amazing to think that a simple fruit like an apple can play such an important role in lowering the risk of developing Alzheimer’s.’

Dr Vincent said adding fresh apples to your daily diet can have a plethora of benefits including for your mental health.

‘Apples are a good source of pectin, a soluble fibre. Studies and research have found that consuming high amount of this type of fibre is linked to a lower risk of depression symptoms,’ he said.

‘Fruits and vegetables are highly beneficial for mental health and people who frequently consume raw fruits and veggies are less likely to suffer from symptoms of depression and anxiety.’

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