Health help from the humble apple
“An apple a day keeps the doctor away.”
So what’s so great about the apple?
Apples have been recognised (along with other polyphenol rich fruits) as a good food for cancer prevention. They can also claim heart health benefits and their antioxidant properties help blood sugar balance by reducing blood sugar spikes, so this makes them a great food for reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes.
The humble apple is rich in polyphenol compounds which are a group of molecules that provide rich antioxidants for a variety of health benefits. Some apples contain more of these health compounds than others and the plant uses these compounds as a defence against UV radiation and disease prevention. Apples grown in conditions where survival is more threatened, generally have a greater concentration of these nutrients and this is one reason why more naturally or organically produced fruits are better for health.
The greatest concentration of these special nutrients is just beneath the skin, so wash the skins and eat by chewing well to gain as much of the health properties as possible. Not only do the growing conditions change the content but also varieties vary in the amount of polyphenols – Johnagold, an old traditional variety, has one of the best contents.
Apples also contain a great soluble fibre known as apple pectin and in the presence of good bacteria in the intestines, will produce a compound called butyrate, which is a fuel for the health of the bowel and improved transit time.
So a regular apple a day can really help to stop constipation. How about stewed apple with raisins and cinnamon - a great way to add a regular apple dish for dessert with a yoghurt topping for more flavour.
And more; apple pectin helps the excretion of fats and cholesterol from the body and so reduces the build-up of fats in the blood vessels and can be given the accolade of inflammation reduction.
All this for that humble apple - so bring on the apples and forget your packet of crisps. ‘Give it all’ to the much loved British fruit, the apple - enjoy your daily apple a day!
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