List Of Heritage Apples Rich In Cancer-Fighting Phytonutrients

Natural Remedies

Apples are a wonderful health food.  ‘An apple a day keeps the doctor away’, we used to say, and I think there is some truth in this old adage.

Apples are a great natural cleanser of the digestive system, including the intestines.  This makes them very helpful in preventing or treating cancer. A good heritage apple eaten daily will help lower cholesterol, thus helping to prevent heart attack and stroke, and provide many valuable vitamins and nutrients as well.

For best health benefits, of course it is best to eat the whole, unpeeled apple.  Even the pips of the apple are benefial, as these contain laetrile, or amygdalin, also called Vitamin B17, which has been used to good effect in treating cancer.  Be cautious about eating too many pips, though – the pips of one or two apples per day should be more than enough for a person of average build who is in good health.  More pips could be taken if one was treating cancer or another degenerative disease, but it is important to get some advice on an appropriate cleansing diet, preferably with the use of enemas, in the case of treating cancer and other serious disease with the help of laetrile.  You can over-do the pip therapy, as the pips also contain traces of cyanide.

If you can grow or procure apples heritage apples, and you eat at least one a day, then you are less likely to develop serious degenerative disease, such as cancer, than if you ate no apples, or ate commercially grown modern varieties.  This is a proven fact:  In the February 2005 publication of the ‘Growing Today’ magazine, I found an article about the proven benefits of eating heritage apples in preference to newer, commercial varieties.

The article also quotes a 2002 National Public Health study from Helsinki:

The study group of people who ate several heritage apples per day over many years had not any signs of serious diseases such as cancer, arthritis, obesity or diabetes at the end of the study. The health of these people was far superior in every way to the people who ate few, or no apples per day.

The fact is that heritage apples, or seedling trees which have been grown from scratch in your garden, have a higher amount of phytonutrients than the modern, commercial types of apples.  Supermarket varieties are mostly grown for their appearance, and their storage qualities, rather than the amount of ‘goodness’ within the apple.

Heritage apple trees, and seedling trees, are generally much hardier and need less attention than modern commercial strains, as they are more bug resistant, and disease resistant than their modern rivals.  This means that they need less spraying, whether or not you use organic or commercial poison methods.

At the top of the list of heritage apples, according to studies done in NZ and elsewhere, are the Monty’s Surprise and Hetlina apple varieties.  These  two have the highest amount of phytonutrients than any other apple trees tested so far.  The russet apples are also high on the list.

Generally speaking, any of the heritage apple trees will likely be higher in nutrients than any shop-bought variety which has been grown for its looks.

Here are some to consider: (note – this list will continue to grow – i will continue to add information about each variety)

Belle de Boskoop: A very old heritage variety which originated in Boskoop, Netherlands.  It is a common tree throughout Europe:  It is a distinctive tree,  willowing out from the upper centre quite beautifully with abundant flowers followed by large handsome apples which are crisp and tart and sweeten with storage. Good for cooking, eating, and for cider.

Boskoop Rouge: A version of the Belle de Boskoop, but with a redder skin.

Cox’s Orange

Gravenstein:  This apple has apparently been known since the 1600’s.  It originated in Denmark.  A New Zealand variety of the Gravenstein is the red-fleshed, sweet-tasting, juicy Albany Beauty, which originates from the Albany area north-west of Auckland.

Hetlina: One of the highest after Monty’s Surprise for riboflavin content and other phytonutrients.

Kentish Filbasket

Lord Wolsely

Monty’s Surprise: According to ‘Thunder Mountain’s nursery list, Monty’s Surprise is a ‘unique New Zealand seedling variety’ from the lower part of the North Island.  It is very resistant to disease and is therefore capable of being grown without chemical sprays. It was re-discovered by Tree Crops Association member Mark Christensen in the 1990’s, the original Monty’s Surprise tree being around 90 years old..  Monty’s Surprise is a great cooking and dessert apple, and, eaten whole, pips, skin and all, is a powerful disease inhibitor. ‘This is to the best of our knowledge, the best anti-cancer eating apple in the world.’ (Thunder Mountain says)

Northern Spy:  This is a well-known apple commonly grown in the northland areas of New Zealand, where clay and wet soils often prevail.  It has excellent resistance to wooly aphids.  Because of its hardiness, it is often used as a root stock for other varieties.  It grows from 3 to 5 metres high.

Reinette du Canada

Sidero Cidre


Takapuna Russet


Worcester Pearmain

Yarlington Mill


Benefits of Avocado

The Avocado Plant, Persea Americana from the Lauraceae family, has been widely used in Guatemala and parts of  Africa and South America for centuries by indigenous peoples.  The benefits of avocado to the health are  now widely appreciated in the Western world, where avocado salad has become a popular health item to add nourishment to a meal.

Avocado essential fatty acids are known to benefit the hair, skin, teeth, bones and nails, and make it  a great nerve food. The benefits of avocado oils on the brain and eyes  has also been fairly well established.

Avocado is rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients which are of huge benefit to maintaining a healthy immune system and a strong body. Avocado also contains vitamins A, B6, C, D, and E.  It contains protein, fats, folate, potassium and traces of zinc. It is thought by many that avocado fruit and its oil  may help to prevent cancer, although no test tube experiment has yet been conducted which proves this for a fact.

The Benefits of Avocado as a cancer preventative are espoused in:  Natural Remedies That Really WorkA New Zealand Guide, written by Dr Shaun Holt and Iona MacDonald.  This is published by Craig Potton publishing, P.O. Box 555 Nelson, N.Z.

In this book, the authors state ‘

  • ‘This paper summarises the many studies that indicate that certain chemicals found in avocado act on many pathways in the cancer process.  Although not yet proven, it follows that avocado in the diet may prevent cancer’. (p.183)

The authors go on to say that phytochemicals from the Hass avocado had a favourable result on ‘multiple signalling pathways’  of precancerous cell lines, and increased the amount of ‘reactive oxygen’ to these areas:   One would  assume that this whould  decrease or halt the growth of cancer. The phytochemicals derived from the avocado did not seem to harm normal cells.

The authors of  Natural Remedies that Really Work warn about complications which might arise if you eat avocados while you are taking medication.  Some foods react adversely with some drugs such as blood thinners, and psychiatric drugs and anticonvulsants. You need to ask your doctor or health professional about including avocados in your diet if you are taking medication.

Important:  The following list is  of Avocado Benefits is for information only and is not intended to serve medical needs.  Go to your doctor or health professional for advice if you are sick.

List of The Main Benefits of Avocado to the Health are:

  • The pulp is an excellent source of  protein to add to the diet.  Avocado contains about 25% protein.
  • Avocado pulp is rich in essential fatty acids.
  • The pulped avocado flesh can be applied to wounds or burns or sores to assist healing.  It can be applied as a poultice in these cases, and fresh applications put on three times a day.
  • Avocado Oil benefits the skin:  The mashed pulp can be applied to the skin as a natural organic facepack to improve its texture.  It can be left on for half an hour and then rinsed off. This has a cleansing and rejuvenating  action on the skin.
  • Avocado is high in Vitamins A, B1 and B2 and Vitamin E.
  • The fruit has been shown to reduce cholesterol levels.
  • The fruit has been used in traditional medicine as an aphrodisiac.
  • Compounds  extracted from the leaves, which are astringent,have been used to treat  the herpes simplex virus, which includes cold sores and genital herpes.
  • The astringent leaves and bark have traditionally been used to bring on menstruation.  Preparations can also be made from the leaves to help diarrhoea, and stomach complaints, coughs and liver disfunction.
  •  NOTE the leaves and bark of the avocado  should not be used for any reason by pregnant women, as this could cause a miscarriage.
  • Gout can be helped by using special preparations from the leaves:  the leaves have compounds in them which reduce uric acid from the body.
  • The rind is used as a worm expellant by native peoples in Guatemala
  • The seeds are used by native peoples to treat diarrhoea.
  • It is used externally as a stimulation for hair growth.  The pulp of the fruit can be applied, or oil extracted from the seed used to massage into the hair.
  • Some quirky information:  Avocado leaves and bark contain flavanoids, tannin and  the volatile oil methylchavicol, alpha-pinene.   The pulp, aside from those  vitamins and elements listed above, contains sesquiterpenes.
  • Read more about the Benefits of Avocado in the Encyclopaedia of Medicinal Plants by Andrew Chevallier, 1996 and 2001, publishers  Dorling Kimberley, Sydney, Australia.