Fruits & Vegetables Herbs & Plants

An apple a day keeps the doctor away

The apple is one of nature’s perfect packages. As food to help shed those pounds gained over the recent holiday indulgence, apples provide plenty of fibre, primarily pectin and cellulose. Pectin gives dieters a sense of fullness to make them feel they’ve eaten heartily. It helps reduce blood cholesterol and aids in digestion of fat. Apples also provide plenty of potassium which helps regulate body fluids and neuromuscular activity. The vitamins A, B1, B2 and C as well as phosphorus and calcium are contained in an apple. They regulate blood sugar and give a hefty dose of the mineral boron which is crucial to maintaining strong bones and preventing osteoporosis. Apples are the only locally grown fruit available in Canadian markets during the winter months.

Nutrition information:

Per 139 g serving (one medium)

Energy——82 Cal —–341 Kj

Protein——0.26 g

Fat——0 g

Carbohydrate——21.1 g

Dietary Fibre——5.2 g

Sodium——0 mg

Potassium——159 mg

There are many benefits from eating apples. “A apple a day keeps the doctor away” has an increasing number of supportive scientific evidences for its claim. It has been found that eating apples helps to reduce blood cholesterol, improve bowel function, reduce risk of stroke, prostate cancer, Type II diabetes and asthma. This is due to the fibre and phytonutrients present in the apples.

Recent researches have shown that eating apples are linked to reducing cancer risk in several studies. Some examples are :

  • Quercetin, a flavonoid abundant in apples has been found to help prevent the growth of prostate cancer cells
  • Phytonutrients in the skin of apples inhibited the growth of colon cancer cells by 43%
  • Food containing flavonoids like those in apples may reduce risk of lung cancer as much as 50%
  • Dietary phenolics such as flavonoids (found in apples) have inhibitory effects on the developments of carcinogenic substances in the bladder, thereby reducing risk of bladder cancer, especially in smokers.

Moreover, eating apples could improve lung function and reduce the risk of respiratory disease such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease(COPD) due to antioxidants present in apple that could counter the oxygen’s damaging effects on the body as well as the flavonoids such as catechins(present in apple and tea).

In addition,studies have shown that a diet rich in apples could help to lower the blood cholesterol level. Pectin, a soluble fibre found in the apples has been thought to play a significant role in this. In fact, apple juice has been found to inhibit the oxidation of a harm from cholestrol)LDL, or lower density lipoprotein).

Besides therapeutic benefits, apples are also found to play a role in inhibiting ageing -related problems,preventing wrinkles and promoting hair growth (due to compound named procyanidin B-2).

For the weight- watchers, this is good news as apples are delicious source of dietary fibre and helps to aid digestion and promote weight los.

An apple a day” now has new meaning for those who want to maintain mental dexterity as they age. New research from the University of Massachusetts Lowell suggests that consuming apple juice may protect against cell damage that contributes to age-related memory loss, even in test animals that were not prone to developing Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.

Moreover, apples are rich sources of phytochemicals (compounds found in plants, fruits, and vegetables that can act as anti-oxidants). Apples and apple juices are the best source for mineral boron which helps to promote bone growth. In addition, the high fibre content helps in slow release of sugars into the body, thereby helps to maintain a steady blood sugar level.

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