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Healthy Eating: An Apple a Day Goes a Long Way

What is it about a sweet, juicy, nutritious apple that is so special? Well, as the saying goes "an apple a day keeps the doctor away"! Not only will your doctor be happy, your digestive system will be happy as well!

The apple is so simple, yet so complex. A member of the rose family, along with the pear. It is crisp, white fleshed with various skin colours, from red, green and yellow. With its blend of pectin a source of soluble fibre, lignans and vitamins C and potassium. Most of apple's nutrients are contained within the skin, and raw organic apples are higher in many nutrients and phytochemicals as well.

Apples are best eaten raw, but can also be eaten cooked or dried. A single apple provides 52 calories, 0.3 grams of protein, 0.2 grams of fat, and 12.8 grams of carbohydrates with 2.4 grams of fiber.

Apples are in an amazing source of ellagic acid and flavenoids, especially quercetin. For example, fresh whole apples and fresh apple juice contain approximately 100-130 milligrams per 3 1/2 ounces of ellagic, cholorogenic, and caffeic acids. However, purchasing apple products that have been commercially processed or juiced loose much of these properties.

Some researchers feel that much of apple's protective effects against heart disease and asthma is related to it high fiber and flavenoid content.

Apples benefit the digestive tract through its high pectin content. Pectin is a soluble fibre that has been known to lower cholesterol levels and improve digestion. Pectin is a gel-forming fibre that improves intestinal muscle's ability to push waste through the gastrointestinal tract. Apples insoluble fibre and pectin both help promote bowel regularity, relieving both constipation and diarrhea.

So, in summary eat more apples! Try them on a salad, saute with diced onions and potato, or skewer them with cinnamon and bake at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes.


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