How Do You Like Them Apples?

14 November, 2012

Whether they're in pies, stuffing, chutney, cobblers, or other festive favorites, apples are super healthy, not least because they're a top source of quercetin. What's that? It's a potent antioxidant that seems to protect against asthma, allergies, prostate cancer, heart disease, and -- the latest -- colon cancer. So grab a bushel before the best of fall's crop is gone. Then get cooking! Try Cinnamon Apple Sauté.

Here's what's so great about quercetin: It's believed to work as an anti-inflammatory, antiallergen, and antihistamine, as well as an antioxidant, which means it gobbles up free radicals before they can cause cell damage. Apples (especially the peels) are a primo source of quercetin, as are onions, green tea, kale, and broccoli -- all foods that are good for you in many other ways, too.

Now a new study suggests that quercetin changes the way colon tissue lives and grows, right down to the cellular level. Quercetin amps up the amount of a protein in colon cells that protects against cancer and decreases the amounts of three other proteins that promote tumor growth. That's a lot of colon protection wrapped up in a tiny molecular package.

So make holiday get-togethers as healthful as you can by adding apple-studded recipes to the menu. No one will ever guess you're serving health food.

SOURCES: The effects of quercetin on SW480 human colon carcinoma cells: a proteomic study. Mouat, M. F., Kolli, K., Orlando, R., Hargrove, J. L., Grider, A., Nutrition Journal 2005 Mar 4;4:11.

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