Pratt: Making healthy life choices as simple as an age-old saying

Whatever type of apple it is, they all contain numerous phytonutrients to benefit your health.

  • Nov. 27, 2012 1:00 p.m.

Whether it is a gala, granny smith, red delicious, fuji, honey crisp or a pink lady, all apples contain numerous phytonutrients to benefit your health.

To start, apples contain soluble and insoluble fibre—up to 20 per cent of your daily requirement from one small apple.

This fibre can help lower your cholesterol by eight to 12 per cent,  which in turn can decrease your risk of heart disease.

This high concentration of fibre can also help stabilize your blood sugar by slowing the absorption of carbohydrates into your blood stream and promoting better sugar metabolism by your body.

Because of these effect of the pectin fibre, apples are a safe and effective way to balance your blood sugar and reduce your risk of heart disease

The fibre benefit alone makes apples a great food choice, but apples are also high in flavonoids, specifically one called quercetin.

Quercetin (also found in onions) is a flavonoid that helps reduce asthma and seasonal allergies by acting as a natural anti-histamine.

By stabilizing cells that release histamine (mast cells), quercetin can aid in the reduction of swelling and redness in your airways caused by histamine.

The high levels of various flavonoids in apples also contribute to their cardiovascular benefits by acting as antioxidants.

These flavonoids, with their antioxidant action, prevent the build up of oxidized lipids causing plaques in your vessels, as well as, aids in blood sugar regulation, both of which contribute to a reduction in heart disease.

Apples have various health benefits and research shows that eating apples can reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, asthma and type 2 diabetes.

So, I can’t help thinking that maybe there is some truth to the old saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away…”

Emily Pratt is a naturopathic physician in Kelowna.

778-478-0548

www.drpratt.ca

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