Apple A Day, Keeps The Doctor Away

Archived Content

  • Print

It turns out an apple a day may keep the doctor away after all. Many studies have shown eating apples can reduce certain diseases and there is no better time to enjoy apples than right now because they are in season and they taste great. QUESTION: WHICH DISEASES DO APPLES HELP TO REDUCE? Scientists at the University of California at Davis found apples are an excellent source of antioxidants, which neutralize free radicals and prevent cell damage. Apples are fairly low in vitamin C, but they contain flavonoids and phenolic acids that have antioxidant protection equal to consuming about 1500 mg vitamin C. Apples also contain quercetin, pectin, boron, D-glucaric acid and other phytochemicals and are a great source of fiber. Researchers at the National Public Health Institute in Helsinki studied 60,000 people and found those who ate the most apples were less likely to develop certain diseases Health Benefits of Apples Lower Cholesterol Reduce Blood clots and Stroke Reduce Type 2 Diabetes Reduce Asthma Reduce lung, breast, kidney & liver cancer Aid weight loss Apples can help reduce heart disease and stroke by 25 percent, Type 2 Diabetes by 27 percent, Asthma by 45 percent and Lung Cancer by 60 percent. Flavonoids prevent cholesterol from oxidizing and platelets from clumping, reducing the incidence of heart attack and stroke. Flavonoids like Quercetin reduce asthma and lung cancer risk as much as 46 percent. The flavonoids and fiber may also reduce colon cancer. Pectin, the soluble fiber in apples, helps to reduce blood cholesterol (LDL) and blood sugar levels. Apples may also help with weight loss. Americans eat 20 lbs. of apples per person each year, or about half the amount Europeans eat. QUESTION: WHICH APPLES ARE THE HEALTHIEST? All apples have similar nutrient profiles and benefits, but some have more antioxidants: Fuji – highest phenols Delicious apple – next highest phenols and antioxidants – best for reducing cancer Ida Red & Northern Spy – also high in antioxidants Braeburn – has most UV protection Apple juice – reduces calcium oxalate stones QUESTION: DOES IT MATTER HOW APPLES ARE PREPARED? All apple products including apple juice, fresh apples, cooked or processed apples provide nutrients and antioxidants that protect from disease, but processing may reduce the protection against heart disease and cancer. --Leaving the skin on improves cancer-fighting ability and lung function --Eating fresh apples before a meal aids weight loss and helps to lower cholesterol. Europeans are thinner than us partly because they eat 2-3 times more apples --Buy organic apples or wash them well to reduce exposure to pesticide residues. Apples are high on the pesticide residue list and pesticides are linked with cancer risk. QUESTION: HOW SHOULD YOU STORE APPLES? You can store apples at least six months in the refrigerator. Place in plastic bag poked with holes and put in coldest part of the refrigerator away from other fruits. Refrigerator storage does not lower phenols and antioxidants, but processing does.