An apple's nutrients vital to good health for several reasons

By NANCY HARRISON
Posted 2/18/18

"An apple a day keeps the doctor away." Well, it's the phytochemicals in the apples, apple juice and applesauce each day that keep the doctor away. Also, some of the phytochemicals are known to be anti-allergenic, some are anti-carcinogenic, …

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An apple's nutrients vital to good health for several reasons

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"An apple a day keeps the doctor away." Well, it's the phytochemicals in the apples, apple juice and applesauce each day that keep the doctor away. Also, some of the phytochemicals are known to be anti-allergenic, some are anti-carcinogenic, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-proliferative. Now you have a reason to say again, an apple a day keeps the doctor away.

Guess what? Did you know that these apples and apple products offer benefits similar to tea and red wine? Research demonstrates that you can add apple juice to the list of fruits and vegetables which are good for you because they contain a significant amount of important plant components. Also, researchers have discovered that the phytonutrients found in 100 percent apple juice and apples can actually help slow some of the processes in humans that can lead to heart disease. In a few weeks of studies, researchers found that just taking in moderate amount of apple juice and apples, without making any other dietary changes, can reduce some problems for heart disease risk.

In research and studies, it has been explained that LDL particles made up of fat and protein carry cholesterol into the bloodstream. LDL particles that have been oxidized-that is, transformed by exposure to oxygen in the body-are more likely to build up into formations of plaque in arteries, causing atherosclerosis or the hardening and narrowing of arteries. Arteries in the heart are more susceptible to plaque formation and related damage, known as atherosclerosis. The risk of atherosclerosis is reduced if oxidation of LDL cholesterol can be delayed, giving the body more time to eliminate the cholesterol before it can cause arterial damage.

Phytonutrients are newly discovered plant components that are thought to have antioxidant properties that are important for good health. Researchers have found that the apple phytonutrients really can make a difference once consumed. Studies from around the world demonstrate that there are nutrients in apple juice and apples that are vital to good health.

An apple a day provides respectable amount of both insoluble and soluble fiber. One large apple supplies almost 30 percent of the minimum amount of fiber which experts say should be consumed daily. About 81 percent of the fiber in the apple flesh is soluble, most of it presumed to be a type called pectin. Studies indicate that and other soluble fibers are effective in lowering cholesterol levels.

Fresh apples also have some vitamin C and some potassium.

When apples are processed (into apple juice or applesauce), however, almost all of their vitamin C is lost (though occasionally with calcium as well).

Apples are of value in the diet for several reasons. They contain small amounts of some important vitamins and minerals as well as provide dietary fiber which is necessary for normal functioning of the intestinal tract. The raw apple also acts as a detergent food, cleansing your teeth and exercising the gums.

Selecting apples for use:

There is a large assortment of apples on the market. Some varieties are especially good for cooking because they retain their shape when cooked (example is Rome Beauty).

The Red Delicious, which is fragrant and sweet, is good served sliced with cheese wedges as an appetizer or snack. It is also an excellent choice for eating out of hand or in salads.

The Jonathan is moderately tart and adds a flavor boost to cooked combination dishes. The Granny Smith has become more familiar in this area in the last few years as an excellent snack, cooking and all-purpose apple. It is green in color, extremely juicy and has a tart, pleasant flavor. The Winesap is crisp, juicy, firm and slightly tart. It, too, is a good snack, cooking and all-purpose apple.