The old adage, “An apple a day, keeps the doctor away,” may not be just something our grandmother’s told us. Apples, members of the rose family, are portable nutrition packages that are quite tasty.
Apples have been found to reduce the risk of stroke and Type II diabetes and to improve bowel function. Flavonoids, abundant in apples, help prevent the growth of prostate cancer cells, and phytochemicals in the skin of apples seem to inhibit the reproduction of colon cancer cells. Two recent studies indicated that eating five apples a week helped lower the risk for respiratory diseases like asthma. Apples also help protect arteries from plaque build up, and eating two apples a day or drinking a 12 ounce glass of apple juice reduced the effects of cholesterol. Also, pectin and other acids in apples help aid digestion. That’s why apples are great served with rich foods like pork or lamb or duck.
Apples have more nutrients if eaten raw with their skin, but they should be washed thoroughly. Just under that wonderful colored coat lies half of the Vitamin C content of the apple. The skin also has lots of fiber and is the source of the apple’s characteristic fragrance.
A raw medium apple (two and a half inches in diameter), eaten with the skin, has only 80 calories, 5 grams of fiber, and is a great source of potassium. It also contains calcium, phosphorus, iron, and Vitamin C and A. The apple is composed of 80-85 percent water, 5 percent protein, and 10-15 percent carbohydrates. It also is sodium free and fat free.
Apples also are 25 percent air. That is the reason why they float when you put them in a tub of water at Halloween parties and dunk for them.
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