Health food of the month - Apples November 2010
HEALTH FOOD OF THE MONTH - Apples
Yes, when we were young the “apple a day keeps the doctor away” was a very well known saying and apples were accepted as being healthy and good for you.
But since then the shops have been inundated with a huge range of new fruits and vegetables, from pomegranates and blue berries to celeriac, and in many ways apples have taken a back seat. We sort of know they are good for us, but they don’t attract the same admiration as some of the new super foods.
Yet apples in fact are just brilliant in helping to keep us fit and healthy.
Apples contain some levels of vitamin C and vitamin A and some iron, always good for us, and they contain no sodium or fat whatsoever. Apples provide high levels of both soluble and insoluble fibre. The soluble fibre comes in the form of pectin which helps control the build up of cholesterol and fibre is always good for our digestion and general wellbeing.
Apples also contain high levels of an antioxidant flavonoid called quercetin and this is thought to play an important part in protecting the lungs from the harmful effects of atmospheric pollutions. There are some reports which say quercetin also helps to prevent the growth of prostate cancer cells.
Phytonutrients found in the skin of apples may help to inhibit the growth of colon cancer.
Apples are excellent for people watching their weight. Because of their high fibre content, they help you feel full more quickly and they only have limited calories, a medium apple contains around only 90 calories.
On top of that, apples are readily available, affordable, should be able to be sourced locally so will retain their freshness and goodness, and they taste great. They are even easy to eat – simply give them a quick wash and you are ready to go!
Like any food, you don’t want to overdo things. Apples do contain quite a high level of natural sugars and combined with the high acidity of the fruit, over indulgence could lead to dental erosion.
So while you can get too much of a good thing, nevertheless it is worth remembering that apples are one of the easiest, healthiest foods we have here in Britain.
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