An Apple A Day Can Keep The Doctor Away This Winter

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2nd June 2009, 01:30pm - Views: 402

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By eating apples this winter we may protect ourselves from colds and flu,

according to several research studies conducted in the United States.¹


w/c 1 June – first week of winter


Dietitian and author Karen Kingham, APD


One study investigated the role of the apple antioxidant quercetin in protecting from

upper respiratory infections by examining male cyclists after three days of intense

training. In the two weeks following the training, nearly half of the placebo group

(45%) experienced upper respiratory tract infections, compared with only 5% of the

group who had consumed the apple antioxidant.²

According to dietitian Karen Kingham, this research is relevant to all of us as we look

to boost our immune system this winter.  “Quercetin has been shown to have both

antiviral and antibacterial effects and apples are the second highest contributor of

dietary quercetin intake in the Australian population next to black tea.”  

Research has linked apple consumption with protection from a range of diseases

relating to lung function.  Along with this research on colds and flu, apples have also

been associated with a reduced risk of lung cancer and asthma.¹

“Researchers believe it is the high antioxidant capacity of apples that makes them so

powerful when it comes to health benefits,” said Karen Kingham.  “And it appears

that these specific apple antioxidants may play an important role in lung function.”

“In reviewing the scientific research on apples and their health benefits, we are

learning just what a superfood the apple is,” said Karen Kingham.  “And when it

comes to fruits, an apple is actually one of the best known fruit sources of

antioxidants, with a greater antioxidant capacity than half a punnet of blueberries or

half a cup of strawberries,” she said.

So an apple a day this winter – along with your cup of tea – makes good preventative

action to help keep colds and flu away.



Kingham, K. Apple Review 2009: A Nutrition and Health Update.


Nieman et al. Quercetin reduces illness but not immune perturbations after extensive exercise. Medicine &

Science in Sport & Exercise 2007:39(9);1561-1569


Issued on behalf of Horticulture Australia.  For further information, photography or to

or arrange an interview with Karen Kingham, please contact

(02) 9969 6633 or 0418 443 886.

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