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The fruit that saves your muscles — and more
High in fiber and vitamin C, apples have long been associated with good health. And as we continue to learn more about the apple’s bountiful benefits, the phrase, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away,” becomes more and more believable.
Many individuals will often peel their apples before eating them, discarding a part of the fruit that has been known to be rich in nutrients. Now, researchers at the University of Iowa have discovered one more reason why consumers should opt to keep their apples intact: The skin apparently contains a compound that may stave off muscle loss.
“Many of us know from our own experiences that muscle weakness and atrophy are big problems as we become older,” said Dr. Christopher Adams, a professor of internal medicine at the University of Iowa, said in a press release. “These problems have a major impact on our quality of life and health.”
In research modelling using elderly mice, researchers found that rodents that ate food supplemented with ursolic acid — a component of apple peels — had a 10 percent increase in muscle mass and a 30 percent increase in muscle strength — the equivalent of returning muscle ability to that of a young adult.
The team of scientists plans to see if these muscle-boosting compounds can be added to foods, supplements or drugs. But there’s no reason for you to wait on that to start beefing up your muscles. Besides, a couple of apples a day could definitely do you some good in many ways, including:
- Reducing risk for breast cancer.
- Slowing aging.
- Helping with weight loss.
Just remember to leave on the peel, chew it well — and only eat organic apples if at all possible. Non-organic apples top the list of the Environmental Working Groups list of “dirty foods” because they absorb a lot of pesticides during growth. You don’t want pesticides negating all those great health benefits.