What Does An Apple A Day Do For Your Body? Nutrients in Apples Have Synergistic Properties
The old saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away" may be more than a widely circulated, unsupported notion after all. Apples nutrition includes powerful antioxidants(especially in the peel) that work synergistically together when they are eaten in their fresh, whole state. The antioxidant power of these combined nutrients is equal to approximately 1500 milligrams of vitamin C even though they contain almost no vitamin C.
Apples contain soluble and insoluble fiber which is powerful protection against high cholesterol and a powerful bad cholesterol reducer. The insoluble fiber has the ability to attach itself to LDL cholesterol in the digestive tract and remove it from the body. The soluble fiber known as pectin combines with phenols to reduce the amount of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides levels. In addition to the heart protection offered by fiber, the antioxidant quercetin combines with other nutrients to increase immune defenses, offering additional protection against free radical damage caused by LDL cholesterol, as well as defence against cancer and other diseases.
Apples are abundant in flavonoids which soak up free radicals that lead to disease. New research has found that flavonoids also have the ability to inhibit cell damage which leads to atherosclerosis. Many studies have found that eating fresh, whole apples have reduces the risk of heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes and asthma. Other benefits found were increased weight loss and improved lung function. Pectin has the ability to bind to heavy metals such as lead and mercury and safely carry them out of the body.
Specific studies have been conducted with liver, colon and breast cancer. Apple consumption was found to inhibit the growth of liver and colon cancer cells and shrink breast cancer tumors during a 6 month test period. Unfortunately, these benefits found in eating fresh whole apples were not found in drinking apple juice, eating apple sauce or taking fiber supplements.
Apples promote bowel regularity and relieve constipation. The insoluble fiber acts as roughage, while the soluble fiber acts as a stool softener by drawing in water but also treats diarrhea because of pectins ability to firm up loose stool. The sweetness of the apple comes from fructose, which breaks down slowly especially when combined with the apple fiber which helps keep blood sugar levels stable.
Kidney stone research has found that drinking one half to one liter of apple juice per day greatly decrease the risk of developing calcium oxalate stones. Phenols found in apple skin are believed to provide protection against UV-B sun rays. Of the different varieties of apples tested, Braeburns were found to provide the most protection. One flavonoid found in apples was found to prevent bone loss due to menopause.
How to choose and store apples
Apples should be rich in color and firm. Unfortunately, apples are among the 12 foods in which pesticides have most frequently been found. In order to avoid pesticide contamination choose organic apples. If you do want to purchase non organic apples find out from your grocer what kind of wax is used to protect the apple. Beeswax, shellac and carnauba wax are the safest. Petroleum -based waxes contain wood resins and solvent residues.