Dr. Mom was right: An apple a day is a health trick that works. A new study found that a chemical called ursolic acid in apple peel may protect against obesity. Mice fed a high-fat diet that included ursolic acid developed more muscle mass and more calorie-burning brown fat than mice eating the same diet without ursolic acid.
People often focus on high-protein foods to build muscle and avoid foods with carbohydrates to stay lean, says Nadeau. "It turns out this approach may be counterproductive. Ursolic acid at doses equivalent to that found in one or two apples per day protects against diet-induced obesity, pre-diabetes and fatty liver disease." It works by stimulating a protein that blocks muscle breakdown and stimulates muscle growth, explains Nadeau.
In addition to apples, you'll also find ursolic acid in basil, cranberries, peppermint, rosemary, lavender, oregano, thyme, and prunes.
Stock White Veggies to Slash Heart Risk
Eating fruits and vegetables with white flesh, such as pears, apples, bananas, cauliflower and cucumber (potatoes were classified differently) may protect against stroke, according to a new Dutch study published in the journal Stroke.
The color of a fruit or vegetable's edible portion consists of pigmented compounds containing flavonoids and other antioxidants that link to health benefits. The researchers found a nine percent reduced stroke risk associated with an increased intake of white-fleshed fruit and vegetables.
Choose white fleshed produce such as cauliflower, pears, apples and bananas. These fruits and vegetables are high in fiber and also contain quercetin, an antioxidant that helps decrease inflammation, says Goodson.
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