You may have heard the old saying that “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” Well eating a variety of fruit is good for you, and can provide many nutritional and health benefits. But I don’t think this phrase is looking at the different types of fruit, rather it focuses only on the apple . So what amazing health benefits does the old common apple have?
Apples come in all sort of shapes , size and colours. Apples are quite versatile and considered to be one of the top 5 consumed fruit in Australia . They can be enjoyed eaten cooked or raw, and are also an inexpensive food, that can be found available in supermarkets and fruit stores all year round. But that’s not all, they can be a great snack as they are very in low in kJ and consists of virtually no fat. Apples are also juicy and that’s because of the water content in apples which makes up to 80% of the apple.
- Dietary Fiber: Apples rich in soluble fiber and insoluble fiber. The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) recommends individuals to have at least 30 grams of fiber day for adults (along with drinking sufficient amount of water), as this helps reduce the incidence of constipation, diverticulosis, cardiovascular problems and certain types of cancers (Bowel, colon). Also getting enough dietary fiber good for digestive health along with having beneficial bacteria and adequate amounts of water with meals.
- Low Glycemic Index: Apples also have a low GI value which can help regulate blood sugar and provide longer lasting energy. Carbohydrate foods with a low GI (glycemic index) release sugar into the bloodstream gradually to provide longer lasting energy. Because apples have a low GI , they provide a sustained source of energy for the body. In general, it is recommended that a low GI food be eaten with every meal.
- Potassium: The Australian Government recommends individuals to increase the amount of potassium in our diet, as it can help combat high blood pressure, which can lead to other health risks.
- Vitamin C: Vital for healthy skin and a strong immune system – plus vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant.
- Essential Minerals:
- B vitamins: Important for release of energy from food – the B group vitamins are needed in the diet daily.
- No fat, cholesterol or salt: It is nice to know that although apples have a variety of nutritional benefits, that we never really have to worry about the amount of cholesterol, fat or salt. :
For a more detailed version of the nutritional. profile:http://www.aussieapples.com.au/why-are-apples-healthy /the-apple-report.aspx
A for Antioxidant powerhouses.
Apples are jam-packed with antioxidants some examples of these antioxidants are quercetin, catehin(poly-phenol), and chlorogenic acid, which are all from the family flavanoids. These antioxidants have been suggested to have a much more powerful antioxidant activity than Vitamin C and Vitamin E. They are what give the colour of many fruit, so many of them would be found in the outer skin.
Most studies have a found a link to Quercitin and its ability to reduce in the growth of cancer cells in the lungs, breast, prostate, liver, and colon. One of the studies that I found out suggested that the reduction rate has something to do with apoptosis (Cell Programmed death). As for some cancer cells they find some ways of escaping apoptosis. Apoptosis a quite a complicated process and some of the scientific articles that I have read shows that Quercitin have different ways of preventing the formation of cancer, as they are many factors that play in the regulation of apoptosis.
A For Amazing Antioxidant Capacity.
What really surprised me was the study that was conducted by the choice magazineown. In their study,they compared the antioxidant content of Acai, mangosteen and noni juice to a red delicious apple. Overall the results showed that having more apples on a daily basis was a more efficient, economical, and a much easier way of increasing antioxidant intake. I’ve got a link for the figures and results for this study under the resources section.
It is also important to note that there are also other foods with a higher antioxidant potential such as blueberries, cranberries and red kidney beans. The important factor to consider is the total intake of (polyphenol). Lets face it eating apples everyday may be more easier than red kidney beans which is more challenging.
Getting the Most Out Of Apples
In order to get the most out of an apple it’s best that you do not peel the apple skin as, much of the antioxidants and nutrition is found on the skin Also when it comes to drinking apple juice, yes it does a have a high amount of vitamin c,but then again the fibre content is quite low, as well as the amount of antioxidants in apple juice. Even 100% Fruit juice is quite high in sugar, so its probably best not to overdo it when it comes to drinking fruit juices, no more than 1 serving, as even too much natural sugars can also undermine your health.
Overall it’s pretty amazing that 1 single apple is capable of offering so many benefit to our well-being. However it is also important to incorporate a healthy and varied diet which includes plenty of plant sources, vegetables, nuts, legumes and whole grains, as the key to antioxidant intake is variety. I’ve got a few link s below which also shows other health benefits in more details that I did not discuss in this post.
I’d Like to dedicate this post to my friend Sharon who loves apples 🙂
Have a great week everyone and eat an apple for me 🙂
http://www.rhymes.org.uk/an_apple_a_day.htm (An apple a day poem)
http://www.freshforkids.com.au/fruit_pages/apple/apple.html (Types of apples)