Red, yellow or green, no matter the color, as in any of its varieties the apple stands as one of the healthiest and complete fruits from the nutritional standpoint. Its extraordinary dietetic properties are due to the presence, mainly in the peel, of two potent antioxidants: quercetin and flavonoids, which inhibit the growth of cancer cells. The combination of both makes apple an ideal cocktail for health because, among many other benefits for the body, these natural chemicals (known by the name of ‘photochemicals’), are responsible for neutralizing free radicals that oxidize our cells which, as we know, increase the risk of developing heart diseases, degeneratives and various types of cancers.
As can be deduced from the name of our website, this wonder of nature has earned the title of “queen of fruits” because by itself brings us beneficial properties for the body that make it more than worthy of a featured place in our larder. It’s well known the saying that “those who eat an apple a day never visit the doctor”, or that one that says “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”. Here’s why:
- A good source of pectin. The apple’s pulp is rich in pectin, a carbohydrate that isn’t absorbed in the stomach and goes directly to the intestinal tract. It’s, therefore, a type of soluble fiber with high water holding capacity as well as to slow the absorption of simple sugars, which significantly contributes to the stable maintenance of blood glucose levels. Regularly consumed, the apple pectin improves glucose intolerance, hence their consumption so beneficial for diabetics people.
- Helps reducing cholesterol. As a source of soluble fiber, eating apples regularly is an excellent way to control blood cholesterol levels. Basically, this occurs because the pectin is able to bind to bile acids, which result from the degradation of cholesterol, and are eliminated through the dregs. As we see, the apple pectin has a hypocholesterolemic effects that can positively help reducing the risk of certain cardiovascular diseases appear.
- It’s effective against constipation and diarrhea. The apple helps regulating intestinal transit in either case. On the one hand, thanks to its high fiber, sulfur, fructose and sorbitol has a laxative effect; and on the other hand, its zinc content gives it astringent properties. The apple pectin, due to its capacity to retain water, makes that those liquid or semi-liquid stools of diarrheal processes acquire normal consistency; in fact, it’s considered as one of the best natural treatments without contraindications for gastrointestinal processes that involve diarrhea.
- Chewing a fresh apple strengthens gums and helps in the maintenance of a proper oral health.
- Quercetin tonifies the heart and circulation. It is a flavonoid or natural colouring able to neutralize free radicals, that is, those particles that oxidize the organism and are able to trigger cardiovascular and degenerative diseases (Parkinson, Alzheimer, …), as well as some tumors, such as lung cancer. Quercetin prevents aging of body tissues and protects our immune system.
- Its moderate potassium content makes the apple a diuretic fruit, especially suitable for patients with fluid retention and high bood pressure.
- It eliminates toxins, because it’s a good stimulant for the liver and kidneys. Pectin is able to mitigate, to some extent, the harmful effects of environmental pollution. This is due to its ability to join chromium and mercury, which end up being expelled through the faeces.
- In nutritional terms, about 85 percent of its composition is water, and most of the sugars present therein derived from fructose.
- According to a recent study, taking about 100 grams of apple with peel provides the same amount of antioxidants and anticancer activity than 1.500 mg of vitamin C.
- My recommendation:
- A medium-size piece has only between 80 and 90 calories, so it´s an ideal snack to take anytime and anywhere. But the best is take it in the afternoon, before lunch.
- Add fresh apple chunks to your salads; you will give them flavor, colour and freshness.
- Apple cider vinegar is a perfect option for dressing your salads; so tasty, healthy and very aromatic.
- The best and healthiest option is eating the apple with the peel, because there we can find the highest concentration of flavonoids.