his picture taken on December 12, 2014 shows apples at the Rungis international market in Rungis. AFP PHOTO / BLONDET ELIOT (Photo credit should read ELIOT BLONDET/AFP/Getty Images) ELIOT BLONDET/AFP/Getty Images

We all know that fruits and vegetables are essential to a balanced diet, but a recent study has found that consuming fruit and vegetables that are high in flavonoids - such as apples, pears, onions, blueberries and strawberries may help prevent weight gain. “This is the first large study to examine the associations between consumption of all flavonoids and weight gain in middle-aged and older adults,” Professor Aedin Cassidy, from UEA’s Norwich Medical School, said

Scientists suggest that a single 80g serving per day of the fruit or vegetable containing the key compound may boost your health, “most adults gain weight as they age and even small increases in weight can have a substantial impact on risk of high blood pressure, developing heart disease, cancer or diabetes – so strategies to help individuals maintain a healthy weight in middle-age are needed,” Cassidy explained. "An increased consumption of most flavonoids was associated with weight maintenance, and even a modest weight loss. The results were found to be consistent across men and women, and different ages.”

The research team added that even consuming just a small amount of flavonoids would be beneficial, "losing even small amounts of weight, or preventing weight gain, can improve health and these modest effects were seen with a small, readily achievable increase in intake of many of these fruits. Just a single portion of some of these fruits per day would have an important impact on health at a population level."

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