Combo 2: Apples and Apple Skin

An apple a day is one of nature’s best prescriptions and a perfect example of synergy within a single food. They’re a great source of polyphenols, vitamin C, fiber, and potassium. Numerous studies have linked eating apples with a reduced risk of some cancers, cardiovascular disease, asthma, and diabetes. Researchers at Cornell University found that eating apple slush with skin worked five times better to prevent the oxidation of free radicals than apple slush alone.

“The phenolic phytochemicals in apple peel account for the majority of the antioxidant and antiproliferating activity in apples,” says Elaine Magee, R.D., the author of Food Synergy. “Food synergy is when components within or between foods work together in the body for maximum health benefits. By eating foods that have a synergistic effect, you can absorb more nutrients, gain control of your appetite, and lower your risk of cancer, heart disease, stroke, and weight-related diseases like type-2 diabetes.” 

Synergy can occur across different types of foods or even within a food itself, and the tag-team ingredients don’t necessarily need to be in the same mouthful, or even the same meal.

Bonus tips: A 2011 study found that ursolic acid in apple skin may preserve muscle, so snack away.

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