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Apple Nutrition

Apple Nutrition

The saying, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away,” which we all heard as kids is good advice--apple nutrition can be a fundamental component of good health. That saying or adage actually had its origins in the Middle Ages--it seems that even way back then our ancestors knew the value of apple nutrition.

One positive thing about apples is something that they don’t have: fat. An apple is a completely fat-free food. Apples are also full of dietary fiber. One apple has 20% of our daily recommended intake of fiber--that’s the same as eating one bowl of bran cereal. Dietary fiber can lower our levels of cholesterol and it helps slow the release of sugars (glycogen) into the blood, having a positive effect on blood sugar levels and giving us energy when we need it.

Apples are actually loaded with complex carbohydrates--those are the good carbos, that unlike simple sugars which can give you a quick burst of energy and raise blood sugar, are released slowly giving you more energy throughout the day. Complex carbohydrates are what give athletes endurance--its why runners load up on pasta and whole grains the day before running a marathon.

Pectin that is found in high quantity in apples helps with digestion, and research has shown that it may be helpful in reducing the risk of cancer and heart disease. One of the reasons that apple slices or applesauce is served with rich foods such as pork, is because of the apple’s digestive benefits. Apples also have an abundance of phytochemicals, which are linked to antioxidant benefits. One of these is quercetin, which is a flavanoid. It protects the apple against fungi, bacteria and viruses but research shows that in humans it can help prevent cancer by ridding the body of free radicals which damage normal cells. Recent studies done at Cornell University have found that these flavanoids, and especially quartering, may also be able to reduce the risk of such neurodegenerative disorders as Alzheimer’s Disease and Parkinson’s Disease.

Apple nutrition facts show that if you eat 100 grams of fresh red delicious apple with the skin on, you will receive the benefits in antioxidant activity equal to consuming 1500 mg of vitamin C. On top of that, studies show that apples reduce the risks of Type II diabetes and stroke. They protect arteries from plaque build-up that can cause heart disease and research has shown that eating two apples (or 12 oz. apple juice) a day reduced the effects of cholesterol. Another study proved that eating five apples a week reduced the risk of certain respiratory problems, like asthma. Apples also have many needed minerals, including boron, which strengthens bones, and magnesium, manganese, chromium and iron.

Apples can almost be thought of as little packages of nutrition. There are no negative effects from eating apples unless you overdo it and take in too much sugar, especially if you are a diabetic. Overall, making apples a part of your needed 2 cups of fruit a day can have nothing but excellent gains in health.


 

 


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