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Bon Appétit: Apple Of My Eye

 

The crispness in the air, welcomes the sweet and savory flavors of Autumn's seasonal harvest.  Fall’s favorite fruit, Apple, offers more benefits than merely a satisfied palate.  This crisp, white-fleshed fruit with a red, yellow or green skin is packed with powerful antioxidants, provides a great source of fiber, and is packed with high amounts of vitamin C.  Plus, did you know apple’s belong to the rose family of plants, Rosaceae?  Hence, their sweet subtle rosy aromaKeep reading for all the benefits this delicious fruit offers.... 

Immune Benefits
Apples are packed with beneficial polyphenols such as flavonols (quercetin, kaempferol and myricetin), catechins (epicatechin), anthocyanins, chlorogenic acid, phloridizin, and a dozen more health-supportive polyphenol nutrients.  Many of the polyphenols in apples function as antioxidants.  These antioxidants work to decrease oxidation of cell membrane fats.  Which helps enhance the immune system by building our bodies natural defense system.

Cholesterol Benefits
The anti cholesterol benefits of apples have been well documented in an array of research studies.  This is attributed to the unique nutrients found in apples.  Both total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol are decreased through regular intake of apples.  This is attributed to apples water soluble fiber pectin) and their beneficial mix of polyphenols.  As mentioned earlier, the strong antioxidant composition of apples, provide us with protection from possible oxidation of fats (called lipid peroxidation), including trycleridcies.  A key factor in lowering cholesterol is decreased lipid peroxidation. 

Sugar-Regulation Benefits
Recent research has shown that the polyphonous in apples are able to influence the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates.  This has an overall impact by regulating our sugar levels.  Flavonoids found in apples act to inhibit carbohydrate-digesting enzymes like alpha-amylase and alpha-glucosidase. When these enzymes are inhibited, carbohydrates are broken down less readily into simple sugars, and less load is placed on our bodies to accommodate more sugar.

Anti-Cancer Benefits
Recently, several studies have revealed that apples can aid in several different types of cancer (especially colon, lung, and breast cancer).  There have been numerous studies involving vegetable/fruit intake and risk of cancer.  Although, studies have previously showed impressive results from an overall fruit and vegetable intake, few individual fruits have been noted as particularly protective against cancer, except apples.  It is quite remarkable, that apples, have demonstrated such a prevalence with cancer risk reduction.  Researchers, haven’t quite determined what in apples give them a significant role in the reduction of cancer risk.  Their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits are definitely involved, but don’t offer a full expaltion of why apples are such a standout in this health benefit area.

Anti-Asthma Benefits
The anti-asmtha benefits of apples has been somewhat surprising to many researchers.  Numerous studies have revealed the intake of apples to be associated with a decreased risk of asthma.  Like the anti-cancer benefits, apples' anti-asthma benefits are strongly associated to the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients found within them. However, there is strong evidence that there could be another element that makes this fruit such a standout.  

There are numerous other benefits of apples.  Currently, there are several studies marking the preliminary finding of age related benefits offered in apple’s nutrient profile; including macular degeneration and Alzheimer's disease.  Apples are great choice to add to your seasonal plate.

What are some of your favorite Apple recipes?