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An Apple A Day...

An Apple A Day...

‘An apple a day’ must one of the most delicious prescriptions ever made! Apples are a powerful source of antioxidants, including polyphenols, flavonoids and vitamin C, as well as a good source of fiber and potassium. The skin is the secret behind the super antioxidant capacity of the apple. The skin alone provides two to six times the antioxidants of the apple flesh alone. So it is very important that we eat the skin as well to obtain the full health benefits of an apple.

There are so many different varieties of apples available and each of these has their own unique skin colour. Along with these differences in skin colour come differences in the chemical makeup of the skin itself, as the phytonutrient content varies in concentration and types of polyphenols present. So it is important that we eat a wide variety of apples to ensure that a balance of all of these antioxidant agents is continued.

Along with being a supercharged source of antioxidants, apples are also high in fiber content. Diets that are high in fiber have linked with a reduction in the risk of developing heart disease. So eating an apple a day provides a delicious snack for both you and your heart! Aside from its link to heart health, the apple, with its supercharged antioxidant content, has also been linked to the prevention of lung cancer, improved lung function and the possible prevention of type 2 diabetes.

Take advantage of the just picked fruit when it is in season. Have a look for apples that have not been waxed. Apples keep best and longest when refrigerated. Unrefrigerated, apples can become mushy in just two to three days. Purchase them at farmers' markets where you know they have probably been picked the day before market or at supermarkets where they are kept cool. Apples should be firm and blemish free. If you can purchase organically grown apples in your local grocery store or farmers' market, you will also be steps ahead in avoiding pesticides. Always wash apples thoroughly before eating or cutting to reduce intake of pesticide residues or bacterial contaminants that result from handling.

So eat an apple a day and you just might keep the doctor away!

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