“An apple a day keeps the doctor away”. This cliché saying might go in one ear and out the other since we’ve heard it since we were little. Does it genuinely have some truth though? I think an apple’s nutrient assortment will speak for itself…
Vitamin B6— supplies energy, increases healthy liver function and is good for eyes, skin and hair. It can stabilize moods, improve sleep patterns, concentration and memory. Vitamin B6 has shown to decrease the risk for heart disease and eye diseases, and may reduce morning sickness. Dare I continue to say it also decreases symptoms of PMS, reduces inflammation processes…and more! Boron— is found in all plant foods, and can activate estrogen and vitamin D to help decrease bone loss. It is also linked to improved brain functioning and can help to boost concentration. Vitamin C—is a wonderful antioxidant that helps to heal the tissues of wounds and injuries. It also helps to fight off free radicals in the body. Vitamin C is abundant in apples! Fiber— helps to regulate bowels and maintain a healthy colon. Fiber also lowers the “bad” cholesterol levels in the body, and helps to regulate blood sugar. Fiber can be helpful when trying to lose weight as it gives one the feeling of fullness. Flavonoids— protect blood vessels, strengthen vitamin C functioning and decrease systemic inflammation.
Naringin— is a flavanoid compound that has at least 17 powerful benefits. This antioxidant is a free radical destroyer, a protector from carcinogenic cells, and helps to increase one’s metabolism. Through a study of lung cancer risk patients, researchers found that the risk was significantly reduced in those who ate apples. This was due to the flavonoids, querectin and naringin [II].
Quertectin— is a flavonoid that is used to treat asthma, hay fever, eczema and hives. This substance has also been found to protect brain cells from damage by free radicals and therefore may have a correlation to helping prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
Folate— helps the body to build and maintain blood cells. Folate is crucial for a developing fetus, helping to prevent birth defects. Vitamin K— assists the body to regulate blood clotting. Vitamin K also helps properly distribute calcium to promote healthy bones. Pectin— is found to be useful in lowering “bad” (LDL) cholesterol. Because of our current intake of processed foods, many people, more than ever, are suffering from high cholesterol, which is a leading cause of heart disease. This gelatinous substance may help to reduce one’s risk of heart disease [I]. Pectin also relieves diarrhea, improves insulin resistance, protects the intestinal tract and helps to increase immunity and prevent ulcers. Thiamin—is also known as Vitamin B1. It promotes a healthy nervous system, brain, heart, intestinal tract and muscle function. Thiamin also aides in proper digestion and energy production. Water— is obviously essential for proper hydration! Apples have about 160 grams of water. Combined with an apple’s high fiber content, water helps to clean out the system of impurities and keep things moving along the digestive tract.
I would have to say that apples might just be the most versatile fruit out there. Their lightly sweet taste complements such a wide variety of dishes. From a delightful apple cranberry sauce for your turkey, a vinaigrette dressing for your salad or a hot spiced cider for those chilly evenings, apples can do it all! They interestingly go very nicely with pork chops and did you know they can even be pickled?
So even if you simply love an apple as is, or cut up in slices with a bit of nut butter, eating one a day might really just do the trick of keeping you from having to dial the doc! It surely doesn’t hurt to give it a try!
[I] Cerda JJ, Robbins FL, Burgin CW, Baumgartner TG, Rice RW. “The effects of grapefruit pectin on patients at risk for coronary heart disease without altering diet or lifestyle.” Clin Cardiol. 1988 Sep;11(9):589-94. Web. July. 2016. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3229016>.
[II] Le Marchand L, Murphy SP, Hankin JH, Wilkens LR, Kolonel LN. “Intake of flavonoids and lung cancer.” J Natl Cancer Inst. 2000 Jan 19;92(2):154-60. Web. July. 2016. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10639518>.