We’ve all heard that an apple a day can keep the doctor away. But a new study has found that apples can help prevent frailty.
Around 10 to 15 percent of older people experience frailty, putting them at a higher risk for falls, broken bones, hospitalization and death. The usual dietary intervention is eating more protein to aid muscle health. However, eating plants that contain the flavonol quercetin can help.
“There may be some validity to the old saying, an apple a day keeps the doctor (or frailty) away,” said the authors. “Our findings suggest that for every 10 milligrams higher intake of flavonols per day, the odds of frailty were reduced by 20 percent. Individuals can easily consume 10 milligrams of flavonols intake per day since one medium sized apple has about 10 milligrams of flavonols.”
Flavanoid intake, in general, is not linked to frailty levels. But the subclass of flavanols is. And the flavanol quercetin that’s found in abundance in apples and blackberries seems to be the most helpful.
The data for the find came from a study of more than 1,700 people who were followed for around 12 years. At the start, no one had any signs of frailty. By the end, just over 13 percent of participants had developed frailty.
Knowing that the odds of developing frailty decrease by 20 percent is a significant difference. It shows how much of an impact diet has on healthy aging. Eating well can have long-term health impacts. It’s essential to take care of yourself, starting with a healthy diet, so that you can enjoy your later years!
The authors of the study want future research to look at how flavanols can act as a treatment for frailty. Is it possible to ease the symptoms or even reverse the condition for more quercetin in the diet? They also would like to include more races and ethnicities in future studies as this study, while large, didn’t have much diversity.
While we wait for those future studies, what we can take away from this find is the need for more fruit in our lives. The average American only eats 2.7 servings of fruits and veggies in a day. We’re supposed to get 13! Add an apple to your day; it will pay off for you down the road!