An apple a day not only keeps the doctor at bay - it may also help you shed the kilos.

Fruit and vegetables that contain high levels off flavonoids seem to stop people putting on weight. Flavonoids are plant compounds found in berries, apples, pears, strawberries and radishes.

They have long been celebrated for their antioxidant effect, which is thought to help prevent cell damage.

But experts also think the compounds may reduce the energy - especially from sugar - that is absorbed from food.


Researchers at the University of East Anglia and Harvard Medical School found that certain flavonoids were linked to maintaining a healthy weight, and even helped people lose a little. Eating the flavonoids contained in a handful of blueberries every day for four years would help people lose about 1.2kgs.

The average woman in the same period would usually put on about 1 kilo, and the average man 2kgs.

In the study, published in the British Medical Journal, experts examined data for 124,086 men and women in the US over a 24-year period.

Professor Aedin Cassidy, of UEA's Norwich medical school, said: '"ust a single portion of some of these fruits per day would have an important impact on health."

- Daily Mail