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  • With apple power, battle cancer and cut calories
    With apple power, battle cancer and cut calories Frontier
    Frontier on Saturday, July 27, 2013
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    Lifestyle [356]
    "An apple a day keeps the doctor away" is certainly no exaggeration, for the mighty apple is indeed a storehouse of vitamins, minerals and many other valuable substances. In fact, apple consumption has been associated with reduced risk for a number of diseases including cancer, particularly lung cancer, as well as cardiovascular diseases, asthma and type 2 diabetes.

    Apples are rich in vitamin C and vitamin E, the content varying with the 7,000 known varieties. Vitamins C and E are powerful antioxidants, which help to build immunity, fight chronic diseases and slow down ageing.

    Apples are also an excellent source of disease-fighting soluble fibre in the form of pectin. Its high pectin content helps lower cholesterol and acts as a laxative by bulking the stool and maintaining intestinal balance. Pectin also helps to bind toxic metals such as mercury and lead, and helps excrete them.

    Cooked apples are known to relieve diarrhoea, dysentery and colitis. One large apple a day has been shown to reduce serum cholesterol levels by 8-11 per cent.

    The pectin in apples supplies galacturonic acid to the body, which lowers the body's need for insulin and may help in the management of diabetes. Apple pectin helps in gelling and it is this property which helps in making apple jams and jellies.

    Apples and apple juice are rich in phytochemicals (plant chemicals) including flavonoids and polyphenols. Polyphenols such as tannins (tannic acid) are potent enemies of viruses particularly herpes simplex virus. Two polyphenols — phloridzin and phloretin xyloglucoside found in apples have not been found in any other fruit.

    Not only are apples exceptionally rich in phenols, they also have the highest concentration of "free phenols", which means that they are more available for absorption into the blood stream. Quite impressively, the anti-oxidant capacity of approximately one apple is equivalent to about 1,500 mg of vitamin C (although one apple has only about 5 mg of vitamin C). A recent study reported that risk of colorectal cancer was reduced by about 50 per cent on intake of more than one apple a day.
                               
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