Thursday, December 25, 2008

Apples and Health

 Apples and Health
Apples may help reduce cholesterol

By Peggy Trowbridge Filippone,

There is a lot of truth in the old adage, "An apple a day keeps the doctor away."

Apples are rich in pectin, a soluble fiber that has been shown to reduce cholesterol. This pectin also appears to target "bad" cholesterol (LDL) according to recent tests. Eating two apples per day has dropped cholesterol levels in test subject humans by up to 16 percent.

Apples are also good for diabetics as the soluble fiber assists in regulating blood sugar, preventing a sudden increase or drop in serum sugar levels.

Medical studies in health benefits show that a number of components in apples, especially fiber, phytonutrients, and antixoidant flavonoids, have been found to lower blood cholesterol, improve bowel function, and reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, prostate cancer, type II diabetes, lung disease, asthma, and age-related memory loss.

Apples are full of vitamins and minerals. There is no significant variation in the numbers between the different varieties. To get the greatest nutritional benefits, enjoy your apple unpeeled--that's where two-thirds of the fiber and many of the antioxidants are located.

One medium-sized raw, cored, unpeeled apple has only 80 calories

The Americans have a long way to go, however, to meet the "apple-a-day" recommendation. The average U.S. consumer eats just over 19 pounds of fresh apples a year, or about one apple per week, compared to Europeans, who ingest an average of 46 pounds per year. It's time for Americans to take that one-apple-a-day dietary recommendation more seriously.
In Malaysia and others Asian countries apples are considered quite expensive. Not everyone can afford to buy or to have it everyday. But luckly they can replace it with local fruits such as pineapple or guava. In India apples are the most expensive fruit.

Apple Nutrition Facts

· Apples don't have fat, cholesterol or sodium, which may help you maintain heart health and a healthy weight.

· Apples do have lots of fiber - both soluble and insoluble kinds. Fiber may help promote heart health and maintain regularity.

· Apples contain small amounts of potassium, which may promote heart health and help maintain healthy blood pressure.

· Apples rich in many essential vitamins and minerals, including calcium, phosphorus, iron, sodium, potassium, vitamin C, vitamin A, and folate.

Fun Apple Facts
  • Apples are a member of the rose family.
  • Archeologists have found evidence that humans have been enjoying apples since at least 6500 B.C.
  • Hippocrates, the Greek physician considered the father of medicine, was a proponent of nutritional healing. His favorite remedies were apples, dates, and barley mush.
  • Although apples are now considered as American as apple pie, they weren't native to this country. Apples were brought here by the Pilgrims, who found North America's native apple species--crabapples--to be inedible.
  • In colonial times, apples were called "winter banana" or "melt-in-the-mouth."
  • Why do apples float? Because 25% of an apple's volume is air.
  • It takes the energy of 50 leaves to produce just one apple.
  • The whole process of digesting a raw apple takes only 85 minutes, which makes an apple one of the easiest vegetable substances for the stomach to deal with.
  • China is the world's largest apples producer. The United States came second.
  • Approximately one out of every four apples harvested in the United States is exported.
  • Apples have long been associated with love and marriage. In ancient Greece, an apple constituted a marriage proposal. A man would toss an apple to his beloved, and if she caught it, it meant she had accepted his offer. An Irish and Scottish custom called for throwing an apple peel over your shoulder, which, when it landed, would form the initial of your lover's name. Even the tradition of throwing rice (or now, birdseed) at a wedding is rooted in an ancient practice in which apples were thrown at the newlyweds. Rice and birdseed probably result in a lot less bruising...on both the apples and the bridal couple.
  • Apples were one of the foods selected for the first space flight around Earth.
Source: © 2008 Frontier Natural Products Co-op. &   ©2008, a part of The New York Times Company


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