The English Apple season –
Celebrate the English jewel in the Crown
As were mid way through the English apple season, from so many different varieties especially look out for the beloved cox’s orange pippins, quite simply a delicious fruit, packed with flavour and texture. As well as great taste, there are lots of reasons to eat an apple a day, infact if you’re on a bit of a health trek forget one apple! I’d say two will really shoo the doctor away.
Why does an apple a day keep the doctor away?
Apples are the understated ambassadors of good health. Often considered the boring fruit, but actually they are the foundation of the fruit bowl, and here’s why!
They are high in fibre, anti oxidants, as well as a host of vitamin and minerals including Vit A, B1, B2, B6, zinc, potassium, magnesium …. .
Of course the high fibre will aid digestion and improve your bowel motions, which is an instant benefit for most people. However the fibre contents also helps to release the sugar very slowly thus regulating your blood sugar levels which in turn makes you calm! In fact it’s the pectin contained in apples which is known to have a positive effect on lowering blood cholesterol. The anti oxidants in apples, constricts the growth of the harmful cholestrol. As well as eating apples, apple juice is also very effective.
Apples also contain boron, a substance known to benefit bone density therefore important for strong bone development or if you may suffer from oesteoporosis, this could be of benefit to you. In fact there is mounting evidence to suggest that eating apples will help also reduce the chances of prostate cancer, type 2 diabetes and asthma.
“The goodness is in the skin”
Most of these benefits are attributable to the high fibre and phyto-chemicals present (ie anti oxidants). But apples also contain a substance called quercetin, which helps to prevent the growth of prostate cancer cells. Research is currently being conducted as to whether this same substance could have as much benefit to other forms of cancer cells. The substance is already known to protect the brain cells from Alzheimer’s. Given this understanding apples would also be good for children’s’ brain development and aid concentration throughout the day.
Apples can also prevent tooth decay, the juice of an apple can kill around 80% of mouth bacteria.
Besides the hard ‘core’ (pardon the pun) health benefits, you’ll be pleased to know apples are a great for anti ageing … they prevent wrinkles and promote hair growth (due to the substance called procyanidin B-2). Apply the old ‘anti’ rule – if its high in anti oxidants then its going to be high in anti ageing minerals.
And if you’re also looking to shed a pound or two … then look no further. Apples do not contain any fat. The high fibre content will aid digestion and help you to lose weight. Pectin makes you feel full for longer so eating 3 apples a day could help you to reduce your portion sizes at meal time which makes a huge difference to overall weight loss. Remember apples are quite low in calories and great as a snack or mid day filler.
And for the finale …. much of the goodness of apples is contained in the skins, so do not be tempted to peel before eating!!!
Written by Kumud Gandhi – writer, broadcaster and Founder of The Cooking Academy Cookery school in Rickmansworth Hertfordshire
Kumud Gandhi is a Nutritional Food Scientist bestselling Author, Broadcaster, and Keynote Speaker on the subject of nutritional health for productivity & performance in the workplace. In 2010 Kumud founded ‘The Cooking Academy’ a cookery school that focusses on cooking for nutritional health and wellbeing. Kumud regularly presents to international audiences on a variety of topics such as ‘Eating for Immunity and a Lifetime of Wellness’. She is an expert in the field of Wellness in the Workplace and works with organizations to create transformational change in employee health & well-being through nutrition and health coaching.