Cider is good for health, say scientists

Glasgow: A glass of cider a day is good for health, new research from the University of Glasgow suggests.

Scientists have found that the drink, made from apples, and which is currently enjoying a resurgence in popularity, following a huge advertising campaign by one producer, is bursting with health-boosting antioxidants.

In many cases, levels are as high as those found in red wine, which is recognised for its ability to stave off a range of diseases.

Both drinks are rich in phenolics, a type of antioxidant credited with the ability to ward off cancer, heart disease and stroke.

Researcher Dr Serena Marks said: ‘Unit for unit, the cider with the most phenolics had levels comparable to red wine.’

The variety of apple, how its grown, in what soil and the storage all affect the levels and concentrations of antioxidants such as phenolics.

The Glasgow University scientist said that drinking a glass of cider was not only enjoyable but was a good way to increase phenolics in the diet.

A spokesman for the National Association of Cider Makers, which part-funded the study, said: ‘An apple a day is said to keep the doctor away. But a glass of cider could be an even more pleasurable way to take care of yourself-The finding comes as cider becomes increasingly popular. It overtook bitter for the first time last year, with £453million in offlicence and supermarket sales.

Its resurgence has been partly attributed to the ‘Magners effect’, a £20million advertising campaign encouraging consumers to drink the Irish-brewed bottled cider over ice.

It was so successful at appealing to younger drinkers that its manufacturer, Tipperary-based Bulmers, had to import apples from England to keep up production levels. With the popularity of British brands also soaring, many orchards are being replanted for the first time in decades.