The old saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” is perhaps merely something our grandmother told us. But, as usual, grandma was right! An apple is a member of the rose family which makes them portable packages of nutrition that happen to be very tasty.
In Greek mythology, apples are related to Apollo, the healing God. This was perhaps the real origin of the modern saying that an apple a day keeps the doctor away. During the middle ages, doctors believed that when apples are cooked, they could reduce lung, intestinal as well as nervous system disorders. Usually fresh fruit, mainly apples, were served at the last part of every meal for a beneficial effect on the digestive system. Aside from that, apple juices were one of the first antidepressants prescribed.
What are the benefits of the apple? Apples are proven to decrease the risk of type II diabetes along with stroke. They improve digestion. Flavonoids are abundant in apples, which helps put off the development of prostate cancer cells, and phytochemicals in the apple’s skin seem to slow down the proliferation of colon cancer cells. Two recent studies have revealed that consumption of five apples every week has helped reduce the risk of respiratory diseases such as asthma.
Apples also assist in the protection of arteries from plaque buildup. Consumption of two apples each day or a drink of 12 ounces of pure (unsweetened) apple juice lessen the effects of high cholesterol. In addition, pectin along with other acids found in apples help out in digestion. That is why an apple is sometimes served with rich foods such as lamb, duck or pork.
This nutrition powerhouse contains more nutrients if consumed raw along with its skin, however they must be thoroughly washed. It is always better to consider organic fruits and vegetables, especially when you plan to consume the skin or outer layer. Just below their beautifully colored skin lies half the vitamin C contained in the apple. The skin is the source of the apples’ fragrance and it also has a lot of the fiber contained in the fruit.
Calories in an apple are few. A medium raw apple which is 2 1/2 inches in diameter consumed with the skin contains only 95 calories, five grams of fiber also an excellent potassium source. It also contains phosphorus, calcium, iron, vitamins A and C.
An apple is made up of eighty to eighty five percent water, five percent protein, and ten to fifteen percent carbohydrates. Apples are also free of fat and sodium. It also contains twenty percent air. This is why they float when you place them into water, making them great for apple bobbing at Halloween parties!
Apple nutrition value is undisputed. They should be added to your diet for their many health benefits. An apple is a staple when it comes to diets worldwide. We have known this for a fact for centuries, even before man began to study nutrition. However, we now have scientific evidence to back up our intuitive knowledge of the goodness of apples. So be sure to include this versatile and nourishing fruit in your diet. There are so many ways to serve this fruit, you’re bound to find a way to have fit them into the eating habits of your family.