“An Apple A Day Keeps the Doctor Away”- is such a true saying and one I had completely forgotten.
Nowadays access to fruit and vegetables is of an abundance irrelevant of seasons as we now fly from all over the world. Sometimes we forget that some better less expensive options are right on our doorstep.
As a child my mother used to always give us apples and those healthy first steps are now more important in children than ever before especially with diabetes on the increase.
So why are apples good for you?
The nutrients sit just underneath the skin and it is here you will find most of the natural goodness. An apple is an excellent source of pectin and dietary fibre which is also high in Vitamin A & C. The fibre in apples will fill you up with all its nutrients intact. Fibre is also crucial for slowing the absorption of the fruits sugars and keeping its glycemic index low.
Apples are a good source of essential minerals such as Potassium, Calcium, Iron and Phosphorus. Phytonutrients which are compounds high in anti-oxidants anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties also present.
The protection and goodness to your body in eating one apple a day is incredible, and I will certainly ensure that I go back to doing just that.
Protection against Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease
Helps people suffering with Asthma due to the Vitamin C and Anti-Oxidant Compounds.
Atherosclerosis can be helped by eating an apple due to its neutralization effects through its oxidation process in reducing plaque buildup.
Bone Protection from the potassium which helps prevent the loss of calcium in the blood which stops the loss of calcium in the bones.
Fibre is a natural laxative so can help with cases of constipation.
Dental Care from eating an apple can clean the teeth and maintain healthy gums. The anti-septic effect keeps bacteria and viruses away.
Improves Muscle Performance due to one of the best sources of Malic Acid which prevents muscle stiffness, reduces lethargy and boosts energy levels.
Gall Bladder Stones can be softened from The Malic Acid found in apples.
Prevention of Lung Cancer – The high content of flavonoids quercetin and naringin combined with anti-oxidants effective compounds in preventing lung cancer.
Do You Get The Same Benefits From Apple Juice?
Please note that these benefits are not found in apple juice as a lot of the goodness is taken away due to the removal of skin and the pulp. Also, in an 8-ounce glass of juice you would use an average of 3 – 4 apples. It would be unusual for a person to be able to eat this number of apples as the fibre would satisfy your hunger. This also has an adverse effect on the sugar content which is elevated in apple juice. 120 calories of apple juice have the equivalent of 30grams of sugar whilst eating the fruit has 24grams.
Therefore, either juice your own so that you include the whole fruit (without the pips) or ensure that you purchase 100% natural juice, free from added sugar and additives and preferably cold pressed.
How Much Sugar Is Too Much?
Adults should consume no more than 30g of sugar per day or 7 teaspoons.
This is in relation to FREE Sugars which include things such as those added to Food & Drink, Fruit & Vegetable Juices, Smoothies and Purees, Cakes, Fizzy drinks, biscuits, deserts, tomato ketchup, bread, cereals.
Unfortunately, a lot of sugars are hidden in foods, so you need to look at the labeling for added sugars such as agave nectar, sweeteners, dextrose, honey corn syrup, sucrose, fructose, glucose, and molasses.
Example of FREE Sugars is A fizzy drink 330ml in size holds 35g of sugar / 9 teaspoons. Therefore, in 1 drink you have used MORE than your daily intake.
On the other hand, natural sugars which occur in whole fruits, vegetables are not harmful to our health e.g. Apples and not what we need to be worried about.
There is a total recommend Sugar Allowance that includes both Natural and FREE sugars for Adults which is 90g per day or 5% of your total daily allowance.
Too much FREE Sugars is bad and can lead to diabetes, tooth decay and obesity.
Can Too Many Apples Be Harmful?
Yes, too many apples or any other fruit can be bad for us due to the sugar content. 90g per day of combined sugar is fine.
The average apple would contain approximately 15g or 3 to 4 teaspoons of natural sugars. Remember the daily recommended allowance is 90g or 21 teaspoons. This would mean if you are eating more than 5 apples this would be more than your daily allowance taking into consideration the rest of the food you would eat or drink in a day.
However, I am not to sure about you but I feel full after 1 apple so it would be exceedingly difficult for me to eat 5.
The other part of the apple which I get asked about all the time is the pips and if they are harmful.
Apple Pips – Contain Amygdalin which releases cyanide when it comes into contact with human digestive hormones.
A dose of 1-2mg/kg is a fatal oral dose for a person weighing 154 lbs or 70 kg. Most apple cores contain approximately 5 seeds. You would therefore need to finely chew and eat approximately 200 apple seeds or 40 apple cores to receive a lethal dose.
Therefore, you only need to worry if you are eating a lot of apple pips. Again, I generally always spit out the pips as they are not particular enjoyable to eat.
There are over 100 varieties of apples and nothing better than being apple to pick fresh from your own garden.
However, if you are not able to do that then I encourage you to buy local. You can enjoy such varieties as follows: –
Nonpareil – Brought over from France in the 1500’s
Winter Pomery – Rare cooking apple
The Harvey – dates to 1929 from East Anglia
Golden Pippin – used in cider making
Winter Permain – came from Sussex and a good cooking apple
Cox’s Apple – popular type and quite tricky to grow
Golden Spire – Juicy and sweet from Lancashire
Brownlees Russet – Superb flavour from Hertfordshire
As I have mentioned this is just a selection of apples that you can try.
In my opinion lets get back to eating apples, the forbidden fruit. There are so many homegrown varieties to try all year around.
Overall, they provide us with so many health benefits and should be part of your daily 5 a day.
Support our own farmers and enjoy a healthier life is surely a great thing to do and they are delicious.
Please let me know how you get on especially how many varieties you have tried. Let me know in the comments below.