An apple a day keeps…the Grim Reaper away? New research suggests that the polyphenol antioxidants in apples might be able to slow down the aging process.

While nutritionists would certainly recommend having apples (or any fruit for that matter) as part of your regular diet because they are high in vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants, this new research that apples are the “fountain of youth” is not necessarily 100 percent true — at least not just yet. The study was done on fruit flies, not humans, and so the results cannot definitively transfer to humans.

On the other hand, the polyphenol in apples is definitely an antioxidant that is helpful in fighting free radicals, something that quickens the aging process. In addition to apples, there are other ways to help slow the aging process.

Carrots are high in carotenoids. An association has been shown that people who have a dietary intake high in carotenoids may live longer.

Vitamin E, vitamin C and selenium are also antioxidants that may help slow the aging process. Find Vitamin E in vegetable oils, wheat germ oil, and sunflower seeds. Get your vitamin C in tomatoes, strawberries, and of course, citrus fruits. Selenium is rich in whole grains and seafood.

Eat foods high in fiber, especially in your later years, to help reduce high cholesterol, diabetes, constipation and diverticulitis. Make sure to increase your water intake along with the fiber to keep everything moving.

Get your body moving. Vigorous exercise at least three times per week (if your doc says it’s okay) can also help your body last longer.

Next time you’re at the grocery store, don’t forget to grab yourself some apples and maybe add some years to your life. It can’t hurt.

The supporting research

Apples may slow signs of aging for fruit flies

A study conducted in Hong Kong evaluated the role of apples in slowing the aging process by altering genes that produce antioxidant enzymes in the body. The study used fruit flies by feeding them apple extracts and seeing what effect it had on their lifespan and aging process. Apples contain powerful antioxidants called apple polyphenols. The present study demonstrated that “apple polyphenols in the diet could prolong the mean lifespan, attenuate the oxidant induced mortality rate, and partially reverse the decline of the fruit flies’ ability to climb.”