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Health & Spirit

Taking a bite out of your cancer and heart disease risks

By Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. on

When Apple launched its IPO in 1980, a share cost $22. As of this writing, it sells for $206.50 (after four stock splits!). It was a good buy early on, but who could have imagined its future increase in value from that first day?

You could say the same is true for apples -- of the Fiji, Gala and Delicious varieties. We've always said an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but who knew that its nutrients -- especially the flavonoids -- would be one way to keep heart disease and cancer away too?

New research published in Nature Communications affirms the importance of eating a diet high in polyphenol flavonoids. Apples deliver many kinds -- including quercetin, catechin and procyanidins. They fight against chronic inflammation and all that it can cause. Especially powerful are apple peels that are darker, redder and bluer (really! think Macoun). Other foods high in flavonoids include tomatoes, tea (green, in particular) and dark chocolate (75% cacao), as well as berries, citrus fruit and leafy greens.

According to the study, based on data from over 50,000 adults, people who consume 500 mg of flavonoids daily (enjoy seven to nine servings of fruits and veggies every day, along with green tea) have the lowest risk of death from heart disease and cancer. The phytonutrient is especially beneficial to smokers, drinkers and those with obesity or sedentary habits. Of course, eating flavonoid-rich foods won't erase all the risks from an unhealthy lifestyle, but it's a great investment in your future.

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Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into "The Dr. Oz Show" or visit www.sharecare.com.

(c) 2019 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.

Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

(c) 2019 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

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