6 ways apples keep you healthy
Regulates your day
You don't have to worry about staying regular anymore. Whether your problem is visiting the bathroom too often or not often enough, apples can help.
A British researcher, Dr. D.P Burkitt, believes one of the easiest ways to prevent all sorts of illnesses, is to avoid constipation. He calls the diseases caused by chronic constipation "pressure diseases." Appendicitis, diverticular diseases, hemorrhoids, hiatal hernias, and even varicose veins can all be caused by straining to pass small, hard stools.
Just one apple with its skin contains 4 to 5 grams of fiber - the most important nutrient in keeping your bowels working like a well-oiled machine. Keeping yourself regular without relying on harmful laxatives could be as easy as replacing that afternoon snack of potato chips or cookies with a crisp, delicious apple.
But that's not all apples can do. They're also good for diarrhea, thanks to an ingredient called pectin. This carbohydrate has a congealing effect in your intestines that helps firm things up and return you to normal. Applesauce is actually the best apple product for diarrhea, since it's made without the high.-fiber skin. But watch out for extra sugar. Some brands of applesauce dump a truckload of sweeteners into an otherwise healthy food, and too much refined sugar could make your diarrhea worse.
Making your own applesauce is as simple as boiling peeled apple in a small amount of water and then pureeing it. It makes a great substitute for oil and sugar in baked goods too.
Keeps your body young
By now you know antioxidants can protect you from many of the diseases that seem to be a part of aging. In fact, so many people are taking supplements for antioxidant protection that it's become a multibillion-dollar industry. But the evidence is mounting that whole foods can do more for you than pills.
When scientists compared a 1 500 milligram vitamin C supplement to one small apple, the results were astounding - the antioxidant values were equal. That means a fresh apple has more than 15 times the antioxidant power of the recommended daily dose of vitamin C. And that's just for starters.
Researchers also found an ordinary apple was able to stop the growth of colon and liver cancer cells in test tubes. Unpeeled apples were especially effective. The question you need to ask yourself: Why waste money on flavorless supplements when you can get better antioxidant firepower from a sweet, crunchy fruit?
Cuts your risk of heart disease
Sometimes it's hard to remember which food is good for which part of your body. The next time you pick up an apple, examine it carefully. It's shaped a bit like a heart - and that should help you remember apples are good for your heart.
It's the magnesium and potassium in apples that help regulate your blood pressure and keep your heart beating steadily, and it's the flavonoid quercetin, a naturally occurring antioxidant, that protects your artery walls from damage and keeps your blood flowing smoothly.
In fact adding flavonoid-rich foods like apples to your diet has been scientifically confirmed to lower your risk of heart disease. There's proof of this in a study of Japanese women who ate foods high in quercetin. They were less likely to get coronary heart disease than other women and they had lower levels of total and LDL, or bad, cholesterol.
Strikes at the heart of strokes
Apples are even a smart choice for helping avoid strokes. Scientists aren't sure which ingredient in this multi-talented fruit to credit, but the connection is clear - people who regularly eat apples are less likely to have strokes than people who don't.
Protects your joints
In areas of the world where fruits and vegetables make up a large part of the diet, very few people get arthritis. Compare this to modernized countries where fruits and vegetables have been replaced with fast, processed food and you'll find up to 70 percent of the population suffers from some form of arthritis.
Just a coincidence? Not according to nutrition experts. They link this trend in part to boron, a trace mineral many plants, including apples, absorb from the soil.
If you eat like most people, you'll get about 1 to 2 milligrams of boron a day, mostly from non-citrus fruits, leafy vegetables, and nuts. Experts believe, however, you need anywhere from 3 to 10 mg a day to affect your risk of arthritis. To boost your boron intake to this level, you'd have to eat more than nine apples a day.
This is probably an unreasonable amount for most people, but don't despair. Pair an apple with other boron-rich foods like a few tablespoons of organic peanut butter and a large handful of raisins, and you'll not only have a delicious afternoon snack, but you'll make your joint-saving quota of boron at the same time.
Helps you breathe deeply
Your lungs are assaulted every day by cigarette smoke, air pollution, pollen, and other air-borne nasties.
On top of that many people today suffer from asthma or similar lung conditions. If all you want to do is take a deep breath, then grab an apple.
A five-year study of more than 2 500 men from Wales found those who ate five or more apples per week were able to fill their lungs with more air than men who didn't eat apples. Experts believe you might be getting some special protection from the antioxidant quercetin. Unfortunately, eating apples can't reverse a lung condition you already have, but you just might add a new line of defense against further damage.
Buy apples that are unbruised, firm, and have good color. Take them out of their plastic bag and store them in your fridge - loose in the produce bin or in a paper bag is best. And since they will absorb odors, keep them away from strong-smelling foods like garlic and onions.
Unfortunately apples rank fifth in the pesticide "dirty dozen" list of fruits and vegetables. Samples contained 4 different pesticides on average. I recommend eating organic where possible.
I always wash our non-organic fruits and vegetables with a product like SoPure fruit and veg sterilizing spray. It aids in eliminating pesticide contaminants, viruses, bacteria and yeast without the use of harmful chemicals or additives.
Then there's the wax that is sprayed on apples which negates the respiratory benefits. Fortunately this is easy to remove using various different methods.
Dip apples in hot water for a few seconds to remove the wax. Once you take out the apple from the hot water, wash it again under running tap water.
Another method is to mix one tablespoon of lemon juice and one tablespoon of baking soda in water. Dip each apple in this mixture and scrub it using a vegetable brush. Rinse them under tap water once you are done.
You can also use vinegar instead of lemon juice mixed in water. Scrub the apples and rinse with water before consuming.
Apple cider vinegar is also a good option. Use a paper towel or clean cloth to wipe the apple with the solution. Wash the fruit with water later.
One of my favourite ways to eat apples as a child was in apple tuna walnut salad. My mother made it for us and would remind us that her grandmother used to make it for her! It's simple and nutritious.
This salad makes a great lunch for school or work. It can be packed into a mason jar or lunch box with tuna at the bottom and lettuce on top. And it keeps in the fridge for up to 5 days.
2 cans tuna
1/2 cup mayonnaise (preferably homemade, recipe HERE)
1 apple, chopped
1 rib celery, chopped
1/4 cucumber thinly sliced
2 Tbs fresh dill
1/4 cup walnuts
salt and pepper to taste
4 cups mixed lettuce
Drain tuna and empty into a medium sized bowl.
Add mayo, apples, celery, cucumber, dill, honey, walnuts, and other spices and mix well.
Serve over large bed of lettuce.
What's your favourite way to eat apples?