The information below is taken from the website the worlds healthiest foods.
According to the latest research, the old saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” is fact, not just folklore. The nutritional stars in apples-fiber, flavonoids, and fructose-translate into apples’ ability to keep us healthy.
Apples contain both insoluble and soluble fiber. One medium (5 ounces)unpeeled apple provides over 3 grams of fiber, more than 10% of the daily fiber intake recommended by experts. Even without its peel, a medium apple provides 2.7 grams of fiber.
Apple’s insoluble fiber works like bran, latching on to LDL cholesterol in the digestive tract and removing it from the body, while apple’s soluble fiber pectin reduces the amount of LDL cholesterol produced in the liver. Adding just one large apple (about 2/3 of a pound) to the daily diet has been shown to decrease serum cholesterol 8-11%. Eating 2 large apples a day has lowered cholesterol levels by up to 16%!
A study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine confirms that eating high fiber foods, such as apples, helps prevent heart disease. Almost 10,000 American adults participated in this study and were followed for 19 years. People eating the most fiber, 21 grams per day, had 12% less CHD and 11% less CVD compared to those eating the least, 5 grams daily. Those eating the most water-soluble dietary fiber fared even better with a 15% reduction in risk of CHD and a 10% risk reduction in CVD.
LDL cholesterol isn’t the only harmful compound on apple’s removal list. Pectin grabs toxins like the heavy metals lead and mercury, and ushers them out of the body. Both the soluble and insoluble fibers in apples have cancer-protective activity since they relieve constipation and send potentially toxic substances out with the stools.
When it comes to bowel regularity, apple’s two types of fiber tackle the job-no matter what it is. Both the insoluble fiber in apples and their soluble fiber pectin help relieve constipation (thus helping to prevent diverticulosis and colon cancer). The insoluble fiber works like roughage, while the pectin, which is found primarily in the skin, acts as a stool softener by drawing water into the stool and increasing stool bulk. On the other hand, because pectin firms up an excessively loose stool, it’s also used to treat diarrhea.
A type of pigment in apples that helps provide their color, flavonoids have been extensively researched and found to help prevent heart disease. Researchers in Finland followed over 5,000 Finish men and women for over 20 years. Those who ate the most apples and other flavonoid-rich foods (such as onions and tea), were found to have a 20% lower risk of heart disease than those who ate the least of these foods.
Juice Ranked among the Highest in Antioxidant Activity
Fructose for Stable Blood Sugar Levels
Apples derive almost all of their natural sweetness from fructose, a simple sugar, but one which is broken down slowly, especially when combined with apples’ hefty dose of fiber, thus helping to keep blood sugar levels stable.
Prevent Kidney Stones
Want to reduce your risk of calcium oxalate kidney stones? Drink apple juice. A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition found that when women drank ½ to 1 liter of apple, grapefruit or orange juice daily, their urinary pH value and citric acid excretion increased, significantly dropping their risk of forming calcium oxalate stones.
To prevent browning when slicing apples for a recipe, simply put the slices in a bowl of cold water to which a spoonful of lemon juice has been added.
Jennifer Dubowsky, LAc, is a licensed acupuncturist with a practice in downtown Chicago, Illinois, since 2002. Dubowsky earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology from University of Illinois in Chicago and her Master of Science degree in Oriental Medicine from Southwest Acupuncture College in Boulder, Colorado. During her studies, she completed an internship at the Sino-Japanese Friendship Hospital in Beijing, China. Dubowsky has researched and written articles on Chinese medicine and has given talks on the topic. She maintains a popular blog about health and Chinese medicine at Acupuncture Blog Chicago. Adventures in Chinese Medicine is her first book. You can find her at www.tcm007.com.