Eating An Apple A Day
The old expression, “an apple a day will keep the doctor away” actually has a ring of truth. Apples are more than just a healthy snack. Studies suggest that apples can help reduce the risk of heart disease, and may protect you from lung cancer. Apples (and pears) may also lower the risk of asthma and improve overall lung function.
Some of the most disease-fighting components of the apples are phenolics, which are a phytochemical that will neutralize free radicals before they can harm your DNA and other important body components and reduce inflammation. Vitamin C has been getting the great press for years as an immunity booster, but it turns out that phenolic content of the apples is even more powerful. Among other popular fruits apples are one of the highest in phenolic content and in antioxidant activity, and 2nd only to cranberries. But it is much easier to eat an apple than a handful of fresh cranberries!
Much of the apple’s healing power resides in the apple skin (especially from red apples), which contains large amounts of an antioxidant called quercetin. Quercetin, along with vitamin C and beta-carotene help prevent harmful oxgen molecules from damaging individual cells. Quercetin has properties that make it stand out from other antioxidants and is a big part of products such as FRS, a healthy energy drink which uses quercetin to provide a natural source of energy.
Apples have long been known to be an excellent source of both soluble and insoluble fiber, including pectin. A medium apple has about 3 grams of fiber. Insoluble fiber is important to keep the digestive tract functioning smoothly which can help prevent diverticulitis. The fiber in apples also helps one feel full, which is why apples are so great for weight loss. One successful diet plan has people eat three apples a day, one before each meal to help them eat less.
Why It’s Even Better Skin Deep:
Wash your apples, but don’t peel them. The fiber has ¾ of the fiber and most of the antioxidants in the apple,” says Wendy Davis, RD, director of communications and consumer health for the US Apple Association. Researchers at Cornell University have also found that apples, and especially apple peels, have been found to have a potent antioxidant activity and can greatly inhibit the growth of liver cancer and colon cancer cells.
Food Researchers at Cornell University did a very comprehensive study on the health properties of apples. (Yes, there’s more, MUCH more!) Here’s a link to the full study and a list of other health properties of apples.
A trip to your local apple orchard or the local farmer’s market for a peck or a 1/2 bushel (which has given way to today’s terms of pounds … much easier to sell apples – not as cool sounding) of your favorite apple variety is perfect for this time of year or really anytime of year. On a recent trip to Virginia, I found a quaint little market on Main Street in the Historic District of Gloucester Court House (Gloucester, Virginia) – Ware Neck Produce Market – was the perfect stop for some delicious apples & applesauce. The Ware Market also carries a variety of locally grown fruits, vegetables, peanuts, jams/jellies, dairy items & freshly caught crabs, shrimp, oysters, scallops, clams & different varieties of fish (depending on the season). They also carry seasonal items such as pumpkins and gourds in the Fall and during the Christmas season – Christmas trees and wreathes will be on hand. The Ware Market is open from March till Christmas Eve. – Monday thru Saturday – 9 am to 6 pm. Stop in if you are in that neck of the woods. I would highly recommend a trip in to The Ware Neck Produce Market and a stroll on up Main Street into Gloucester Court House, (Gloucester, Virginia).