Research suggests that an apple a day and a cup of green tea may be the best way to keep the doctor away. Findings at the Institute of Food Research (IFR) have found how certain naturally occurring foods can help protect our health from developing chronic conditions, such as heart disease and cancer. The study, which was published in the journal of Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, outlines the specific benefits found in green tea and apples.

Stay with me here.

A research team, led by Dr. Paul Kroon from IFR, found that when apples and green tea work together they have surprising benefits. They produce a unique amount of polyphenols which block a specific molecule called VEGF in the body. VEGF causes blood vessels to form in a process known as angiogenesis, which advances cancer.

For the study, researchers used human blood vessels to test the effect and found when they used low dosages of polyphenols from green tea and apples, it completely stopped VEGF from turning on.  It’s the first time researchers have been able to directly turn off VEGF using polyphenol-rich foods.

Previous studies have found green tea polyphenols have the power to kill cancerous cells and stop them from growing because polyphenols are a potent and natural antioxidant.