Can an Apple a Day Really Keep the Doctor Away?

Find out why Snow White couldn't resist them. (photo from http://the-dressingroom.ca/2010/04/13/an-apple-a-day/)

“An apple a day keeps the doctor away”, my mom used to say. But  with so many other fruits hailed  to be the “super” fruit, is the apple still as good as  it was known  to be? Why was  the apple used to seduce Snow White to her doom? Is  the  apple really that irresistible?

Find out why Snow White couldn’t resist them. (photo from http://the-dressingroom.ca/2010/04/13/an-apple-a-day/)

What  do you get from an apple?

  • The apple fruit is notable for its impressive list of phyto-nutrients, and antioxidants. Studies suggest that its components are essential for normal growth, development and overall well-being. The total measured antioxidant strength (ORAC value) of 100 g apple fruit is 5900 TE. Some of the important flavonoids in apples are quercetin, epicatechin, and procyanidin B2. Flavonoids help prevent the growth of prostate cancer cells.
  • Apples are rich in dietary fiber, which helps prevent absorption of dietary-LDL or bad cholesterol in the gut. Dietary fiber also saves the colon mucous membrane from exposure to toxic substances by binding to cancer-causing chemicals inside the colon.
  • Apple fruit contains good quantities of vitamin-C and beta-carotene. Vitamin C is a powerful natural antioxidant. Vitamin C helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals from the body.
  • The apple fruit is also a good source of B-complex vitamins such as riboflavin, thiamin, and pyridoxine (vitamin B-6) which help in metabolism and other synthetic functions inside the body.
  • Apples also contain small amounts of minerals like potassium, phosphorus, and calcium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids  and helps control heart rate and blood pressure.
  • Apples are known to combat different type of cancers. The phytochemicals present in the skin of an apple prevents the multiplication of colon cancer cells. A study conducted in Strasbourg concluded that eating apples can reduce the risk of colon cancer. The fiber from the apple remains in the colon for a certain period of time and starts producing chemicals that fight any appearing cancer cells.
  • Researchers from Comell University found out that apple extracts inhibit the growth of liver cancer cells. A study in Finland (1997) also revealed that consuming apples daily reduces the risk of getting lung cancer. The diet of 9959 Finns were reviewed in the study program, and it was found that of those people, the ones who were cancer free were the ones who ate flavonoid-rich food. The apple’s skin is also rich in Quercetin, a flavonoid which is the most beneficial to prevent cancer.
  • Quercetin is also believed to  fight off cell degeneration which is the primary cause for Alzheimer’s disease. 
  • Consuming apples also lessens the risk of hypertension, strokes and high blood pressure levels. Apples contain soluble fibers such as pectin which help prevent plaque from being deposited on the artery walls, thus reducing the chances of atherosclerosis and heart disease.
  • Pectin and other acids also help improve digestion and bowel function. The insoluble fibers in apples hold water in the intestinal tract so as to cleanse and move the food faster through the digestive tract.
  • Apples also contain calcium and boron which are essential for healthy bones and teeth.
  • Apples make one happy. Apple juice is  one most the most earliest prescribed antidepressants.
  • Though loaded with loads of vitamins and minerals, apples are low in calories (good news  for  those trying to lose weight), a hundred grams of fresh slices of this fruit provide only 50 calories. They contain no saturated fats or cholesterol. Apples make you feel fuller and automatically, you eat lesser quantity of food.

So, the old adage still rings true. Grab an apple and enjoy it. No peeling  needed (as all the quercetin are on the apple peel. Juse ensure you wash it  thoroughly.

Web References:

http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/fruits-and-fruit-juices/1809/2

http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/apple-fruit.html

http://www.buzzle.com/articles/nutritional-facts-about-apples.html

http://health.learninginfo.org/apple.htm