An apple a day

Autumn and apples go together. What better way to spend quality family time than to go apple picking at one of the you-pick-’em orchards scattered throughout Texas. Apples are the traditional gifts to teachers and the standard lunch box treats. An apple a day is perhaps one of the most delicious and efficient prescriptions ever made. The antioxidant activity of one apple is equivalent to about 1,500 mg of vitamin C, even though the amount of vitamin C in one medium apple is only about 5.7 mg. Apples are a good source of fiber, are also free of fat, cholesterol and sodium. Apples can help you lose weight due to having 5 grams of fiber. Soluble fruit fiber has been shown to be adversely associated with long-term weight gain, and in one study the daily consumption of either three apples or three pears was associated with weight loss in overweight women. A number of studies have shown that apple consumption is associated with reduced risk for cancer, particularly lung cancer, asthma and type II diabetes. Apples have natural estrogen, helps reduce cholesterol, protects your heart, prevents constipation, blocks diarrhea, improves lung capacity and memory function, and cushions joints. For one thing, apples are a rich and important source of phytochemicals, including flavonoids and phenols. And these antioxidants seem to be more available for absorption into the bloodstream then over-the-counter vitamin pills. But, the antioxidant activity of apple peels is about two to six times the activity of the apple flesh. So, eat the peel if you want to get the full protective benefits of apples. Although apples may have lower concentrations of some other of the antioxidants than other types of fruits’particularly berries’they’re abundant, affordable, super-portable and, yes, delicious. All of which makes it easier for you to reach your two to four fruit servings a day. Choose firm apples that have good color. The skin should be smooth with no soft spots or wrinkles. Refrigerate in perforated plastic bag, away from strong-odored foods, to slow the ripening process. Apples get mushy six to ten times faster at room temperature. Use within one to three weeks. Next week: Going bonkers for Apples Facts in these articles are obtained from medical and clinical journals, scientific publications, and published tradebooks. These articles have been written and published strictly for information purposes. For any questions contact Susan at trijrsL@msn.com or www.fruitandveggienurse.com

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