An Apple Every Day

Everybody is well aware about the old saying  “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” which is literally true.  Apple is an extremely important fruit for maintaining good health.  Apple is  also one of the dirtiest of fruits when it comes to pesticide exposure, therefore; the best choice is to go for organic apples.  Even otherwise, if by any chance you are not able to lay your hands on the organic varieties, it is not healthy to exclude these items from diet all-together either. As the Environmental Working Group says, "The health benefits of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables outweigh the risks of pesticide exposure." 

Some important health benefits of apples are summarized below:

Our body cells may be harmed by unwanted free radicals that are formed through natural processes. Anti-oxidants are the substances that help to destroy these harmful substances in our body and prevent our body against many harmful health problems. There are many fruits and vegetables that contribute anti-oxidants in our body for eliminating the effect of free radicals and apple is one of them.

Aging is a natural process and we cannot stop it but we can delay it by eating healthy food. Many studies are being done at various research institutions. One such research is done at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Centre on Aging based at Tufts University in BostonMass., links the consumption of diets high in anti-oxidants with reduction in physical and mental changes associated with aging. The Tufts scientists in collaboration with colleagues from Colorado and Pennsylvania published their evidence in Brain Research in the June 2, 2000 issue that age related issues can be reversed by eating nutritious food. Apples are ranked higher to initiate such a response.

Bladder cancer
French researchers, writing in the October 1996 issue of Carcinogenesis and the June 18, 1998 issue of Mutation Research, gave their input about the inhibitory effects of dietary phenolics on the development of carcinogenic substances in the bladder. They concluded that smokers ingesting dietary phenolics mainly flavonoids can greatly reduce the harmful effects of tobacco carcinogens within their bladder cells. Important foods that provide flavonoids include apples, lettuce and onions.

Lung cancer

Scientists at the University of Hawaii's Cancer Research Centre of Hawaii in Honolulu investigated relationships between flavonoid intake and lung cancer risk. They wrote in Journal of the National Cancer Institute in its January 19, 2000 issue that "we found statistically significant inverse associations between lung cancer risk and the main food sources of the flavonoids quercetin such as apples and onions." They concluded that "if replicated, particularly in prospective studies, these findings would suggest that foods rich in certain flavonoids may protect against certain forms of lung cancer."

Heart health
Apples are good for maintaining your heart healthy. It contains a good amount of pectin, the soluble fibre that helps in lowering LDL, the bad cholesterol in our body. But the most important health benefit of apples is the mix of anti-oxidants present in it. Flavonoids such as quercetin prevent to oxidize LDL to a more dangerous form. Researchers say that half glass of apple juice per day can significantly reduce the oxidation of LDL.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a life threatening respiratory disease in which a person gasps for breath. Dutch scientist’s studies if the flavonoids present in food compounds can help to ease the COPD symptoms. Apples were the primary sources of flavonoids. Results showed excellent results and lowered the incidence of coughing and breathlessness in COPD patients after consuming apples. The researchers stated in the July 1, 2001 issue of American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, "Solid fruit, such as apples, intake was beneficially associated with COPD.

Consuming apples can help you to prevent wrinkles on your skin. It is revealed by an article published by Australian researchers in the February 2001 issue of Journal of the American college of Nutrition. It was revealed that eating apples can greatly help in saving money for cosmetic surgery.

Hair growth
A chemical compound called as procyanidin B-2 is present in the apples. Japanese researchers studied its effect on hair epithelial cells in lab animals and published their conclusion in the January 2002 issue of British journal of dermatology. They stated that this compound which is present in apples promotes hair growth.

Dental hygiene
Apples have long been called nature’s toothbrush; tough they don’t actually cleanse the teeth, they still help to maintain dental hygiene. Biting and chewing an apple stimulates the gums and the sweetness of apple increases the flow of saliva, which help in reducing tooth decay by lowering the levels of bacteria in the mouth.