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Study says an apple a day may help keep cancer away

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Albany/HV: Study says an apple a day may help keep cancer away
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From apple cider to apple pie, fall is the time of year when the fruit takes center stage in New York, popping up in some favorite seasonal treats. But, fruit lovers may be getting an added benefit. Sarah Blazonis reports.

CENTRAL SQUARE, N.Y. -- If an apple a day keeps the doctor away, there's no shortage of remedies at the 29th annual Central Square Apple Festival.

"Honey Crisps, Macs, Cortlands, Empires," said Craig Simpelaar of Mexico's Apple Dale Orchards. "We have some of the apple butters, caramel and candy apples."

"There's such a variety of flavors. I mean, you have a soft flesh, you have a hard flesh, you have crisp, you have sweet, you have tart," said Joel Banyai, festival attendee from Liverpool.

But, one study suggests the fruit can keep something else at bay. Cornell University food researchers said lab tests show that eating 100 grams of a fresh New York apple can have the antioxidant and anti-cancer effects equal to 1,500 milligrams of Vitamin C.

And while the fact that apples are good for you is nothing new, the study shows that it may actually be what's in the skin that packs the biggest punch.

"While the pulp itself is very good for us, the skin itself, which is insoluble fiber, actually helps the body to reduce inflammation, which is one of the triggers for cancer," said Kaushal Nanavati, director of SUNY Upstate Cancer Center's Integrated Medicine Program.

Doctors say phytochemicals found in apple skins can help keep cells strong, preventing that damage. The study was funded by the New York Apple Association and New York Apple Research Development Program and focuses just on the state's apples.

"I would think apples in other states also have great nutritive value. You know, can we say they have the same value as New York apples? I don't think anybody's done the study on that," said Nanavati.

But, whether they come from New York or beyond, doctors say you can't go wrong including fresh produce and whole foods in your diet as part of a healthy lifestyle.

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