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Ten Health Benefits to Eating Apples   

Bone Protection

A flavanoid called phloridzin found only in apples may protect post-menopausal women from osteoporosis and may also increase bone density. Boron, another ingredient in apples, also strengthens bones.

Asthma Help

The anti-asthma benefits have been somewhat surprising to health researchers. Multiple studies have shown apple intake to be associated with decreased risk of asthma. A recent study shows that children with asthma who drank apple juice on a daily basis suffered from less wheezing than children who drank apple juice only once per month. Another study showed that children born to women who eat a lot of apples during pregnancy have lower rates of asthma than children whose mothers ate few apples.

Alzheimer's Prevention
A study at Cornell University found that the quercetin in apples may protect brain cells from the kind of free radical damage that could lead to Alzheimer's disease.

Lower Cholesterol

The pectin in apples lowers LDL ("bad") cholesterol. People who eat two apples per day may lower their cholesterol by as much as 16 percent.

Lung Cancer Prevention

Researchers aren't certain why apples are so closely associated with reduction of lung cancer risk.  They believe it is due to the high levels of the flavonoids quercetin and naringin in apples.   According to one study of 10,000 people, those who ate the most apples had a 50 percent lower risk of developing lung cancer.

Breast Cancer Prevention

A Cornell University study using rats found that those who ate one apple per day reduced their risk of breast cancer by 17 percent, three apples per day reduced their risk by 39 percent and those fed six apples per day reduced their risk by 44 percent.

Colon Cancer Prevention

Research shows that the pectin in apples reduces the risk of colon cancer and helps maintain a healthy digestive tract.  One study found that rats fed an extract from apple skins had a 43 percent lower risk of colon cancer.

Liver Cancer Prevention

Research found that rats fed an extract from apple skins had a 57 percent lower risk of liver cancer.

Diabetes Management

This area of research on apple benefits is relatively new, but it's already awakening the interest of an increasing number of food scientists. The phytonutrients in apples can help you regulate your blood sugar. Recent research has shown that apple polyphenols can help prevent spikes in blood sugar through a variety of mechanisms. Flavonoids like quercetin found in apples can inhibit the enzymes that are involved in the breakdown of complex carbohydrates into simple sugars, your blood sugar has fewer simple sugars to deal with when these enzymes are inhibited. In addition, the polyphenols in apple have been shown to lessen the absorption of glucose from the digestive tract; and to stimulate the beta cells of the pancreas to secrete insulin.  All these things triggered by apple polyphenols can make it easier for you to regulate your blood sugar.

Weight Loss

A recent study showed that when healthy adults consumed one medium-sized apple approximately 15 minutes before a meal, their caloric intake at that meal decreased by an average of 15%.  Meals in this study averaged 1,240 calories, a reduction of 15% meant a reduction of 186 calories, or about 60 more calories than contained in a medium apple. For these researchers, "getting ahead" in calories with a net reduction of 60 calories was a welcomed outcome of the study, and an extra benefit to their study's primary conclusion-the importance of whole apples in helping us manage our hunger and feeling more satisfied with our food.

 

Apples: The Next Superfruit

After today, America will no longer connect apples primarily with wholesome activities like picking bushels amid a spectrum of leaves in the fall, warming up with cider on a wintry day, or crunching a candied variety at Halloween.

People will think of apples as the next superfruit, an accessible, value-priced, nutritional energy source on par with blueberries and pomegranates. That’s the logical outcome of a new national survey of 1,021 chief household shoppers across the nation conducted for the U.S. Apple Association by SupermarketGuru.com, in which:

  • 96% called apples an ‘anytime’ food for both adults and children
  • 90% said they would consider apples and apple products (slices, cider, not pastries) a regular part of their healthier diet in 2010
  • 64% rated apples a one, two or three on a ‘most healthful’ scale of ten, with one being the highest rating

Moreover, when asked about the health attributes of apples and apples products, similarly high proportions of respondents were aware of the truth behind these scientifically supported statements:

  • Apples and apple products, especially those with the peel left intact, are rich in plant compounds called polyphenols and antioxidants, both known to promote health (92%).
  • Apples and apple products may help to boost weight loss efforts (89%).
  • Daily consumption of apples and apple products can help reduce LDL (low-density lipoprotein) or “bad” cholesterol levels and protect against heart disease (85%).

One result of this understanding: vast majorities said they will serve apples to their families and house guests more often. “The magnitude of their response reflects their desire to eat healthfully—and the ability of apples to help them do that because of their nutritional makeup, portability, affordability ad accessibility,” said The Lempert Report’s own Phil Lempert, a food, consumer and marketing trends analyst.

He considered the comparably high nutrition ratings of apples in the survey to be notable, since blueberries and pomegranates are higher-priced food options. Consumers were asked between December 2009 and February 2010 about the nutrition, health, merchandising influences, eating habits and more surrounding apples…

It became clear to Lempert, after evaluating the survey findings, that “apples are a year-round fruit, and consumer willingness to buy, eat and serve more apples is a vast opportunity for retailers. Merchants already display apples prominently as a stage-setter, but now they need to think further about how to tap into this mindset that apples are a ‘superfruit’ and great for a person’s health and overall wellness.”

Article courtesy of Phil Lempert, Supermarket Guru
www.supermarketguru.com

 

Great Foods for a Healthy Smile

Taking care of our teeth, for many reasons, is important to our overall health and well being… without teeth it would be difficult to enjoy a variety of foods of different textures as well as obtain nutrients to maintain and promote health. The foods we choose as fuel and how often we eat affect our general health as well as our teeth and gums. Researchers from Harvard Medical School found that one of the most important contributing factors to longevity was daily flossing. Flossing helps remove bacteria from the teeth and gums, preventing periodontal disease and gingivitis.

The amount of sugary sodas, sweetened fruit drinks, and energy dense – nutrient poor snacks that Americans consume is a major concern for dentists and other health professionals. In studying the dental health of people from different cultures (typically those isolated from modernization) with good teeth, researchers found that their diets were much higher in vitamins and minerals – particularly calcium and vitamins A and D.

Vitamins A and C are needed for the absorption of calcium, and calcium is an important element in our teeth. Dark green leafy vegetables have good amounts of chlorophyll, phosphorous, vitamins A and C, all of which are needed for calcium absorption. Chlorophyll is thought to help build enamel and prevent tooth decay, while vitamin C helps reduce plaque from building up.

What are some good foods for your teeth?
Plant foods that require a lot of chewing like apples, celery, and carrots help clean and may even whiten teeth. Chewing increases saliva production which helps restore the pH balance in your mouth, a low pH can cause damage to your teeth. Celery and parsley are also thought to help freshen breath.

Strawberries have gentle cleansing and bleaching properties, and may help remove coffee and tea stains – a remedy commonly used in some European countries. Make sure you rinse or brush after eating strawberries (or using them to whiten) as the acid, if left on the teeth, can be harmful to the enamel.

Cheese, particularly cheddar, is also great for your teeth. The fats in cheese work to counteract acids in foods – by restoring the pH balance and cleaning our teeth. Cheese contains calcium and phosphorus which help protect tooth enamel and prevents the build up of plaque. Cheese also stimulates the production of saliva, which helps clear your mouth of any food particles left on the surface of the tooth.

Some other teeth whitening remedies that can be found in your supermarket include:
orange peel; rub your teeth with the inside of the peel for a brilliant shine. Lemon juice; can have a whitening effect on your teeth – but use sparingly because the acidic nature of lemon juice can harm tooth enamel. Adding a little lemon juice to baking soda can also helps clean the teeth; the same can be done with apple cider vinegar. Do keep in mind that these home remedies will not work as quickly or effectively as professional – patience is key.

Regularly brushing and flossing your teeth and visiting the dentist for professional cleanings twice a year can go a long way in keeping you healthy! In the mean time, shop smart for good oral health!

Article courtesy of Phil Lempert, Supermarket Guru