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Apples and tea protect against cancer and heart disease

Cover Media logo Cover Media 13/08/2019
© Getty

Flavonoid-rich foods such as apples and tea protect against cancer and heart disease, according to a new study. 

 Researchers from Edith Cowan University's School of Medical and Health Sciences have analysed data from a study that assessed the diets of over 53,040 Danish people over 23 years. 

© Getty They discovered that people who regularly consumed moderate to high amounts of foods rich in flavonoids, compounds found in plant-based foods and drinks, were less likely to die from cancer or heart disease. In addition, this protective effect appeared to be strongest in smokers and heavy drinkers, who are at higher risk of developing such chronic diseases. 

 However, lead researcher Dr. Nicola Bondonno said eating flavonoid-rich foods doesn't completely counteract the risks of smoking and heavy drinking, so it is still advisable to quit the cigarettes and cut down on alcohol consumption.  

  © Getty "These findings are important as they highlight the potential to prevent cancer and heart disease by encouraging the consumption of flavonoid-rich foods, particularly in people at high risk of these chronic diseases," she said. "But it's also important to note that flavonoid consumption does not counteract all of the increased risk of death caused by smoking and high alcohol consumption. By far the best thing to do for your health is to quit smoking and cut down on alcohol. 

  a woman sitting at a table with food © Provided by Cover Media Ltd "We know these kinds of lifestyle changes can be very challenging, so encouraging flavonoid consumption might be a novel way to alleviate the increased risk, while also encouraging people to quit smoking and reduce their alcohol intake." 

  © Getty Participants who consumed about 500 milligrams of flavonoids each day had the lowest risk of death. 

Dr. Bondonno insisted this could be achieved easily with one cup of tea, one apple, one orange, 100 grams of blueberries and 100 grams of broccoli, which offer a wide range of flavonoid compounds. 

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