‘A’ is for Apple

‘A’ is for Apple

by Dr Marli Botha and Elmien Lerm

“An apple a day keeps the doctor away”… but why? What makes an apple so special? Apples have properties that no other fruit have. You will be able to get the benefits of these properties individually with other fruits, but an apple combines everything and makes it simpler.

Apples come in all shades of red, green and yellow. There are 7,500 varieties, or cultivars, of apples grown throughout the world. The world’s top apple producers are China, the United States, Turkey, Poland and Italy. The science of apple growing is called pomology. Apples are members of the rose family.

Apples are rich in important antioxidants, phytochemicals, flavonoids, and dietary fiber. Epidemiological studies have linked the consumption of apples with reduced risk of some cancers, cardiovascular disease, asthma, and diabetes. In the laboratory, apples have been found to have very strong antioxidant activity, inhibit cancer cell proliferation, decrease lipid oxidation, and lower cholesterol (J Boyer , Nutrition Journal2004 3 : 5 , DOI : 10.1186 / 1475-2891-3-5 ) .

Researchers from Finland studied dietary data from 9208 men and women gathered for a period of 28 years and found that regular apple eaters had a lower risk for stroke compared with non-apple eaters (Knekt , P. et.al (2002 ) . Flavonoid Intake And Risk Of Chronic Diseases . Am J Clin Nutr 2002 Sep ; 76 ( 3 ) : 560-8 . )

Most people just don’t like the skin. But you’ll lose some significant nutrients if you don’t eat the peel. About one-third of the apple’s total fiber is lost if you toss the peel in the trash. You also eliminate all of the folate of the apple, and most of its vitamin E and vitamin K (http://www.livestrong.com/article/449504-is-apple-peel-good-for-you/)

Health and Nutritional Tips:

  • Apples are useful in the treatment of anemia since apples a rich source of iron.
  • Eating apples in excess will not cause many side effects, but as with anything eaten in excess, apples may contribute to weight gain.
  • Red apples contain an antioxidant called quercetin. Recent studies have found that quercetin can help boost and fortify your immune system, especially when you’re stressed out.


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