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Apple Nutrition and Health
We have all heard the old adage, "An apple a day will keep the doctor away." Although it will take more than an apple each day to keep you healthy, it is certainly a step in the right direction. Apples are delicious and low in calories. They are easy to carry with you for a snack. Apples are also a natural mouth freshener, and they are still relatively inexpensive.
Apples are a source of soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber such as pectin helps to prevent cholesterol buildup in the lining of the walls of blood vessels. This helps to reduce the incidence of atherosclerosis and heart disease. The insoluble fiber provides bulk in the intestinal tract, helping to move food quickly through the digestive system, which may help reduce the incidence of colon cancer.
It is a good idea to eat apples with their skin. Almost half of the vitamin C content is just underneath the skin. Vitamin C, as well as a host of other antioxidant compounds in apples, may reduce the risk of cancer by preventing DNA damage. Eating the skin will increase insoluble fiber content.
Contamination from pesticides has been linked to an increasing number of diseases. Pesticides are generally found on the outside of fruits and vegetables. Washing or peeling before eating may reduce pesticide intake, but peeling will also reduce the intake of beneficial nutrients.
Eating apples can help remove trapped food and clean between the teeth, but excessive consumption could cause the erosion of tooth enamel over time from the malic acid contained in the apple.
Apple juice has a significant concentration of phenolics thought to helpprotect from many diseases associated with aging, including heart disease and cancer. Aside from other obvious fruit vitamins like vitamin C, apple juice also contains the mineral nutrient boron, which is thought to promote healthy bones.
There are hundreds of varieties of apples on the market today. Depending on which one you choose, apples can be tart or sweet, soft and smooth, or crisp and crunchy. With all these attributes, we should all be eating an apple a day!