According to a study, an apple a day keeps the vulnerability away.
Research suggests that eating foods that contain certain nutritional components — such as blackberries and apples — may reduce your chances of becoming frail and frail in old age.
Known as flavonols, these are associated with a variety of health benefits and can be found in a range of fruits and vegetables.
To investigate a possible link between flavonols and frailty — which affects 10 percent of adults over age 65 — researchers analyzed the diets and frailty of 1,701 people over 12 years.
During the study period, 13.2 percent of participants developed vulnerability. Analysis revealed that for every additional 10 mg of flavonols people ate per day — about the same amount as a medium apple — the chances of developing frailty decreased by 20 percent.
Research suggests that eating foods containing certain nutritional components — such as blackberries and apples — may reduce your chances of becoming frail and frail in old age
Blackberries and apples can reduce your chances of becoming frail in old age
One type of flavonol in particular, called quercetin, had the strongest link to preventing frailty, the team said.
This is mainly found in apples, dark berries, citrus fruits, onions, parsley and sage.
“Perhaps there is some validity to the old adage, an apple a day keeps the doctor — or vulnerability — away,” the researchers said.
Co-author Dr Shivani Sahni, from Harvard Medical School in Boston, said: ‘A higher intake of quercetin was the flavonoid that had the strongest association with the occurrence of frailty.
“These data suggest that there may be certain subclasses of flavonoids that have the most potential as a nutritional strategy for frailty prevention.”
According to Age UK, “vulnerability” refers to a person’s mental and physical resilience, or their ability to bounce back and recover from events such as illness and injury.
Being vulnerable means that a relatively ‘minor’ health problem, such as a urinary tract infection, can have serious long-term consequences for one’s health and well-being.
It is generally characterized by problems such as decreased muscle strength and fatigue, and can affect up to 50 percent of people over the age of 85.
Experts recommend regular exercise — such as resistance and weight training — to prevent and reduce frailty, as well as a healthy diet.
The findings were published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.