Chemical is one of those funny words that seems to also mean its opposite.
Like “seed.” If you seed your lawn you’re adding seeds. If you seed an orange, you’re taking them out.
Most people think of chemicals as something created by man in a lab. But there are also chemicals in our food. Except these chemicals, like phenolics, flavonoids, flavonols and carotenoids were created in nature to help protect plants and make them strong and hardy.
And when humans eat these natural chemicals, we get those benefits transferred to us.
This is why we are continually writing about nutrients and compounds in food that can help protect and heal you.
For example, phenolics, flavonoids and other chemicals found naturally in apples and other fruits and vegetables with “peels” can help fight breast cancer and kill other tumor cells.
But you have to eat the peels.
In studies of apple peels, scientists have found a variety of these compounds have “potent antioxidant and anti-proliferative activities” against tumors, according to Rui Hai Liu, a researcher with Cornell’s Institute for Comparative and Environmental Toxicology.
In lab tests of the apple chemicals, notes Liu, “We not only observed that the treated animals had fewer tumors, but the tumors were smaller, less malignant and grew more slowly compared with the tumors in the untreated (animals).
Maybe this is why, in the Nurses Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, regular consumption of fruit and vegetable corresponded with a 21 percent reduction in lung cancer risk in women.
Apples in particular stood out among all fruit. A recent Finnish study reveals similar results.
You can now find a tremendous variety of apples even at your local grocery store. But it’s best to wash those thoroughly to make sure there is no pesticide residue on the peel, which is that part you want to eat. Better yet–stick to organic apples.
If eating apples worries you, you can get some of the benefits through the use of nutritional supplements, like quercetin. In his book, Surviving Cancer, Dr. Michael Cutler includes quercetin in his list of 10 cancer-fighting nutrients.