An apple a day...
Most of us have heard the saying ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’ however, does this ancient proverb hold true?
When thinking of superfoods, most think of exotic fruits from far flung countries that are not only expensive but, that are only available from specialist foods stores. However, the common and understated apple could be considered a local superfood as it a powerhouse of nutrients that offer a myriad of health benefits.
Apples first and foremost provide a high amount of vitamin C especially in their skins. Vitamin C is an important anti-oxidant for immune and skin health.
Vitamin C helps with nutrient absorption and has been shown to helps us to absorb and store iron in the body. Apples also contain B6, an important vitamin involved in the production of neuro-transmitters, the production of serotonin (your happy hormone) and the manufacture of haemoglobin, a component of red blood cells.
In various studies, apple consumption has been associated with a reduced risk of heart disease, cancer, asthma and type 2 diabetes. Much of this research has pointed to apples high concentration of phytochemcials, in particular the flavonoid quercitin (Boyer and Liu, 2004).
Apples are one of the main fruits that can contain high pesticide residues, therefore it is important to rinse them in cold water before eating them. Where possible I would advise buying organic and British.
Apples are a versatile fruit and can be used both in sweet or savoury dishes. Why not try stewing them with cinnamon, cloves and star anise (see the recipe section) for a simple and tasty breakfast or dessert. Grated or chopped ,apple can add a unique flavour and crunch to a salad, or why not slice and eat dipped in a nut butter for a healthy snack.
Boyer, J. and Liu, R. (2004). Apple phytochemicals and their health benefits. Nutrition Journal, [online] 3(1). Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC442131/ [Accessed 4 Oct. 2019].