An Apple a Day…

 

…. keeps the Doctor away.  An old adage that refers to the high quality of nutrition in an apple, one of the most widely consumed fruits all around the world.  Indeed, it is a very healthy, whole food.

red apple

The apple tree is part of the Rosaceae or rose family of plants – a very large family that includes other common foods such as cherries, peaches, raspberries, apricots, plums and almonds.  Eastern Europe and southwestern Asia is where the apple tree actually originated. Today there are more than 7,000 varieties of apples.

Nutritional profile:

  • Apples have a high content of phyto-nutrients, flavonoids (quercetin, epicatechin and procyanidin) as well as antioxidants (vitamin C and beta-carotene) which neutralize free radicals in our body.  Quercetin and Vitamin C helps build the body’s immune system.  The phyto-nutrients can also help regulate blood sugar – good news for diabetics.

 

  • There are a number of vitamins and minerals in apples which act as co-factors for enzymes in the body’s metabolism, and other functions within the body.  These are B-complex vitamins (riboflavin, thiamin and pyridoxine {vitamin B-6}), potassium, phosphorus, and calcium.  Potassium is important for our cell and body fluids, and helps regulate blood pressure.

 

  • The dietary fiber apples contain is very beneficial for us:
    • it helps prevent LDL (bad) cholesterol from being absorbed
    • it protects the colon’s mucous membranes from toxic exposure by binding to toxins in the colon
    • it helps to lower the glycemic load of the foods being consumed

 

  • Pectin, a type of fat soluble fiber in apples, is very beneficial.  When a whole apple is consumed (not just juice or applesauce), the pectin combines with phyto-nutrients to lower blood fat, beneficial for the cardiovascular system.

 

  • Apple peel is also very nutritious: research done at Cornell University has shown that compounds in the peel (triterpenoids) can protect the body against certain types of cancer, particularly breast, liver and colon.

There are four other benefits to eating apples:

  1. They are low in calories
  2. They do not contain any saturated fat
  3. Recent scientific research has indicated that apples significantly alter the two bacteria in the large intestine (clostridiales and bacteriodes) which provide health benefits, such a greater availability of fuel to the cells in the large intestine.
  4. Beneficial for dental health by stimulating saliva, which lowers bacteria levels and reduces tooth decay.

Here is a healthy, quick apple recipe I found while doing my research:

Ten Minute Fig and Fresh Apple Cobbler

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=recipe&dbid=242

Are you interested in learning more about how healthy whole foods can help boost your immune system and your energy level?  Are you interested in finding out which foods are beneficial for balancing blood sugar or reducing inflammation?  Contact me, and let’s talk!

 

Informational Resources:

Nutrition-and-you 

15 Health Benefits to Eating Apples

WholeFoods.com

Copyright © 2013 Cathy Ormon – All Rights Reserved