Thursday, April 24, 2014

Fruit & Your Health - Part 4 - Apples

Eating fresh apples is always good for you, but to get the full nutritional benefits associated with eating apples you should eat at least one fresh apple every day.  The average U.S. consumer eats about 19 pounds of fresh apples a year - about 1 apple per week.  Ongoing consumer attitude tracking in nine major markets across the US has shown that Washington apples remain number one as far as consumers are concerned.  According to one report, 56% of those surveyed named Washington as the brand they look for when buying apples.

Cholesterol - The Chicago Herald posted that apples raise good cholesterol, lower bad and contributes to weight loss. 

Heart Disease & Stroke Prevention - U.S. Apple Association stated that heart disease, including stroke, is the nation's number one killer.  Studies have shown that apples and apple products (like sauce and juice) can help lower your risk of developing heart disease and may also help decrease your waist size and possible even your blood pressure.

Colon Cancer Prevention - New research suggests that both apple pectin and apple juice extracts may enhance the body's ability to protect from colon cancer.  German researchers found that components of apples and apple juice react in the colon and help to slow the growth of precancerous and tumor cells. 

Also, over the past several years, apple consumption has been linked with reduced cancer risk in many studies.  A 2001 Mayo Clinic study indicated that guercetin, a flavonide abundant in apples, helps prevent the growth of prostate cancer cells.  A Cornell University study indicated phytochemicals in the skin of an apple inhibited the reproduction of colon cancer cells by 43%.  The National Cancer Institute has reported that foods containing flavonoids like those found in apples may reduce the risk of lung cancer by as much as 50%.

Healthy Lungs - Two recent British studies indicated that eating apples can improve lung health.  A study of Welsh men indicated that people who ate at least five apples per week experienced better lung function.  Research at the University of Nottingham reported that those who ate five apples a week also lowered risk of respiratory disease.  In the Netherlands at the University of Groningen, apples were singled out as a fruit that could cut smokers' risk of COPD in half.  Scientists believe antioxidants found in apples may ward off disease by countering oxygen's damaging effects on the body.

Weight Loss - Apples are a delicious source of dietary fiber and dietary fiber helps aid digestion and promotes weight loss.  A medium apple contains about five grams of fiber, more than most cereals.  Also, apples contain almost zero fat and cholesterol, so they are a delicious snack and dessert food that's good for you.

Apples are heart Healthy - Researchers at the University of California-Davis recently reported that apples and apple juice may help protect arteries form harmful plaque build-up.  In the first study conducted in humans, adults who added 2 apples, or 12 ounces of 100% apple juice, to their daily diet demonstrated a significant slowing of the cholesterol oxidation process that leads to plaque build-up - thereby giving the body more time to rid itself of cholesterol before it can cause harm.

Improved Brain Health - According to the U.S. Apple Association a growing body of evidence suggests that eating apples and apple products can be beneficial when it comes to improving brain health and diminishing the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease.

Apple Nutrition Facts - info provided by Virginia Apples

Calories 81 - Carbohydrates 21 grams - Dietary Fiber 4 grams - Soluble Fiber - Insoluble Fiber - Calcium 10 mg - Phosphorus 10 mg - Iron .25 mg - Sodium 0 mg - Potassium 159 mg - Vitamin C 8 mg - Vitamin A 73 IU - Folate 4 mcg

This information is based on one medium 2 1/2" apple, fresh, raw, with skin. The nutritional value will vary slightly depending on the variety and size.

Nutritional Facts About Virginia Apples -

The homespun wisdom about apples is proving itself true in the lab. Not only are apples low in calories and high in fiber, but nutritionists and scientists are finding that apples can prevent health problems or at least reduce health risks our bodies face everyday. It's their preventative and curative properties that are capturing the spotlight in numerous studies around the world. Some of the studies have found:
*Antioxidant phytonutrients in and apple juice help reduce cholesterol, especially LDL cholesterol (low-density lipoproteins or bad cholesterol), helping prevent cardiovascular disease.
*Antioxidant phytonutrients also help reduce the risk of heart disease รก Phytonutrients in apples slow the growth of colon cancer and liver cancer in cells
*Phytonutrients in apples lower the risk of thrombotic stroke.
*Flavonoids, especially the flavonoid, quercetin, found in apples, appear to reduce the risk of lung cancer. Some studies suggest they cut the risk of lung cancer in half.
*Apples appear to improve lung function , in general, because they contain antioxidants.
*Apples help strengthen bones.
*People with diets high in flavonoids, such as those found in apples, are 20% less likely to develop cancer.
*Apples are high in fiber. About 80% of the fiber in apples is soluble fiber which reduces cholesterol. The remaining 20% is insoluble fiber which may help prevent cancers.
*Potassium, which is found in apples, is important in regulating blood pressure.

One Great Little Food

Mother Nature was at her creative best when she came up with apples. They've got it all: taste, looks, and nutritional aspects that just won't quit.
*Apples have no fat, cholesterol or sodium. Compare those stats to a bag of potato chips!
*An average apple contains only 80 calories. Compare that bottom line count to a piece of cake!
*Apples have five grams of fiber, 20% of the daily recommended fiber needs. That's more than most cereals!
*Apples contain vitamins A, B1, B2, C, and Niacin; plus nutrients, Phosphorous Magnesium, Iron and Potassium. Apples are their own health food store!
*Applesauce is a fat free substitute when cooking and can be used in place of oil or shortening. In addition to being health, applesauce makes baked goods taste moist.

*When eaten as a snack, apples suppress hunger longer than junk foods and empty calories they contain. Apples are a great choice when dieting and trying to stave off hunger.
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