An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away!
Image via Wikipedia
I think we’ve all heard that saying since early in life! In the more recent future, apples were given a bum rap. Remember when everyone was carb-o-phobic (some people still are!) and would generalize by saying “don’t eat anything white”? Or they would say that “apples are nature’s sugar water”?
I kind of felt sorry for apples. Maybe generic apple juice isn’t the healthiest choice, but that doesn’t mean that apples aren’t nutritious! Although I can’t find anyone who was a witness, I remember saying to a group that apples were going to be the next ‘superfood’. I figured the Apple Council (I assume that actually exists!) was going to get together to fund some research highlighting the health benefit of apples!
I’m happy to say that the day has come for apples to be highlighted! I was updating my ‘Fighting Cancer With Your Fork’ seminar and noticed that Apples and Winter Squash were recently added to the American Institute for Cancer Research’s “Foods that Fight Cancer” list.
Why Did Apples Make The List of Cancer Fighting Foods?
Apples are the second most common fruit consumed in the US (bananas are the first). Apples contain many phytochemicals that scientists look at for their cancer preventive effects. The peel of the apple contains a third or more of its phytochemicals. Most of the quercetin and triterpenoids are found in the peel.
But don’t give up on the flesh of the apple. Although it’s the ‘white’ part that gives it a bad name, the middle of an apple has a good amount of the fiber, pectin. Your GI tract uses the pectin to produce compounds that protect colon cells.
This is particularly important because your GI tract is in charge of making sure that the right compounds are transferred from into your blood. You want to keep it healthy! And no, a colon cleanse is not the best way to keep your GI tract healthy. That’s another article in itself!
Apples are a good source of:
- Vitamin C
- Quercetin (a
flavonoid that shows anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties)
- Other flavonoids, including epicatechin and, in red apples, anthocyanins
Diets high in fiber have convincing evidence in lowering the risk of colorectal cancer. Diets high in fruits have probable evidence in lowering risk of mouth, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, lung and stomach cancer. Diets containing vitamin C have probable evidence for lowering risk of esophageal cancer.
Apple, Avocado and Walnut Salad Recipe
This recipe looks great, easy to make and tasty. I like pretty much anything with avocado in it! The recipe is from Conner Middelmann-Whitney, author of Zest for Life: The Mediterranean Anti-Cancer Diet. FYI – the cookbook is on sale right now for $9.99 or $6.99 on kindle. I’ve been working through a copy of it. There’s good information and great Mediterranean recipes!
- 2 ripe avocados, peeled and cubed
- 1 apple, cored and cubed
- 1 rib celery, cubed
- 1 T dried cranberries
- 1 T walnuts, chopped
- 2 T chopped parsley
- 1 T lemon juice
- 1 T walnut oil (I don’t typically have this in the pantry, so if I didn’t have time to go to the grocery store, I’d probably substitute with another oil – I’m sure it wouldn’t taste the same though!)
- 1 T olive oil
- 1 t honey (Conner suggests acacia honey – I honestly am not sure what the difference is. If any of you know, feel free to enlighten me!)
- salt and pepper, to taste
- In a small serving bowl, combine apples, celery and avocados and sprinkle with parsley, cranberries and walnuts.
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk oils, lemon juice and honey
- Pour dressing over fruits and vegetables, toss lightly and serve immediately.
When I knew I wanted to highlight apples, I asked Conner if she had a cooking video for Apples. She kindly recorded this video of her recipe! She even adds some tips on ways to make the recipe extra special for guests. You could probably use baby spring mix for lettuce if you don’t have the kinds that she mentions. Although, I have grown arugula in my yard. It grows quite easily around here!
I hope you’re convinced… Apples are GOOD FOR YOU! Eat them!