An Apple a Day Just Might Keep the Doctor Away!

Apples, because of their pectin, polyphenols and bioflavonoids, have properties that really can, like the old adage says, keep the doctor away.

In 1996, a study was conducted in Finland to determine whether or not eating apples can lower cholesterol. The Finnish team determined that eating three apples a day for three months can help lower a person’s LDL, or low-density lipoprotein (bad cholesterol) level by twenty points. Apples contain quercetin, an antioxidant which also helps to reduce the amount of LDL in the bloodstream.

Another Finnish study’s results promote the theory that the polyphenols in apples can inhibit lung cancer.

Apples, having natural ACE-inhibitor  properties, can help to  relax arteries, lower blood pressure and improve the pumping ability of the heart. The apple is also a hemetic, an agent that builds up the blood.

Eating apples can reduce the incidence of cardiovascular disease. The well-known Women’s Health Study found that  females who regularly ate foods  high in flavonoids, such as apples and onions, had a 35% reduction in cardiovascular events. The Finnish study found a lower risk of thrombic stroke among those who eat apples often. The study concluded that “flavonoid intake was strongly correlated with a decreased mortality from heart disease in elderly men and also negatively correlated with myocardial infarction.”

The Finnish research team proved that the apple’s bioflavonoids have an effect on cerebrovascular health.  Apples provide antioxidants for the body. Oxidative damage on cells by free radicals contributes to age-related brain deterioration. Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia are examples. The apple is an anti-Alzheimer’s agent. A study conducted by the University of Massachusetts suggests that whether the brain-oxidation is caused by genetics,  metabolism, or dietary insufficiencies, apples can improve the condition.

The apple can help to prevent sugar alcohol, or sorbitol, from being trapped in nerve and eye cells. Apples contain a natural aldose-reductase inhibitor, which can help to prevent this devastating effect of diabetes.

Apples are a digestive aid, and help to prevent the absorption of fats.

The health-benefits of apples are numerous, and autumn is harvest time.

Copyright M-J de Mesterton, 2008

More Information on the Apple’s Health-Benefits, by George Mateljan, My Favorite Food and Health Writer