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Just Like Grapes, Apple Skins Are Loaded With Antioxidants

In the midst of posting a number of studies about the world of benefits you can tap into by consuming antioxidant-rich foods last year, I mentioned one important caveat about the value of drinking red wine versus eating whole grapes: It may be beneficial to consume whole grape skins (fresh grape skins contain about 50 to 100 micrograms of resveratrol per gram) and pass up the meat of the grape, which has no resveratrol but a lot of extra fructose.

Turns out the same thing may apply to apples, according to researchers at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. In fact, the skin of the Red Delicious variety -- the most common kind grown in this country and the easiest to find in your grocery store and produce market -- has more than six times the amount of antioxidants of the flesh of the apple! Conversely, the Northern Spy ranks tops in antioxidant content in the flesh of the apple while the Red Delicious was third.

The variations in antioxidant levels among apples -- second to bananas in overall popularity -- can be attributed to differences in growing seasons, geography and genetic predispositions, according to the lead researcher.

An interesting factoid: Even though apples have significantly lower concentrations of antioxidants than other fruits -- especially many berries -- researchers believe their year-round availability and greater popularity might make them a better source of antioxidants for many people.

Those findings certainly add to the other positive studies I've posted the antioxidants found in apples that may fight cancer and Alzheimer's disease.

Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, May 14, 2005

Yahoo News June 6, 2005

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