This second part of the Superhuman Food Pyramid series is all going to be about fruits. Today’s topic is one of the most common of all tree fruits – apples.
There are about more than 7,500 apple cultivars which probably make this fruit the most widely cultivated and distributed in the whole world. It has also been part of the human diet since ancient times as it is mentioned in old Greek and Norse mythologies.
This is certainly fortunate given the wonderful health benefits this simple fruit can provide. There is truth to the saying that eating one apple a day keeps the doctor away.
Keep reading to learn the benefits of apples and how to take advantage of these in your pursuit for Superhuman health.
Among the various health benefits attributed to apples, there are two that are well pointed out by research into their phytonutrients. This ordinary fruit can help protect your cardiovascular system and regulate your blood sugar.
The oxidation of fats is identified to be one of the factors that lead to clogged blood vessels. Apples contain the dietary fiber called pectin that works together with the other phytonutrients in the fruit to reduce fat oxidation. The ability of apples to regulate the level of fats in blood is such that one whole fruit a day is enough to lower total cholesterol, and a portion of that sum which is composed of bad cholesterol.
As for regulating blood sugar, the nutrients in apples seem to be able to affect the way carbohydrates are digested and absorbed. The substance mainly identified is quercetin but other flavonoids are involved as well. Quercetin inhibits some of the enzymes that break down carbohydrates into simple sugars. The effect is that less sugar immediately floods the blood stream. This in turn puts less strain on the pancreas and the whole system by which the body maintains a proper balance of sugar in the blood.
Along with these therapeutic properties, here are some of the more abundant vitamins and minerals that your body receives from apples:
- Vitamin A (carotenoid and beta-carotene)
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin K
Apple Practical Uses:
There are actually more nutrients concentrated in the skin of apples than in the pulp. This is something to consider when using the fruit in any recipe and you want to maximize its nutritional benefits. In order to avoid possible toxic contaminants such as pesticides that may be present in the skin, it is highly recommended that you purchase organically produced apples.
Here are some preparation and eating tips:
- Rinse the apples and (if needed) scrub the skin gently with a soft bristle brush to get rid any other contaminants. Make sure not to bruise the fruit.
- After slicing the fruit, dip the pieces in cold water mixed with a teaspoon of lemon juice. This will prevent the apple slices from browning which is a sign of the phytonutrients oxidizing. This is a natural occurrence but the process reduces the nutritional value.
- Apple recipes that require less processing are better as this leaves more of the nutrients intact. So including them in salads and mixing them in yoghurt for desert or snacks are good culinary ways to use apples.
- If you want to juice the apples, use a blender rather than a juicer. Some juicers are designed to separate the pulp and fiber. In a blender, you can still get all the dietary fiber.
- If you’re on a diet, eating one whole apple about 15 minutes before a meal will give you a stronger feeling of satiety after the meal and possibly reduce caloric intake.
In the next post, I’ll tell you the benefits of apricots to help you in your quest to Become Superhuman.
In the meantime, if you care to jump ahead, here is a complete listing of the fruits on Superhuman Food Pyramid:
If you have questions, comments or feedback about the benefits of apples, the Superhuman Food Pyramid, this website, or other aspects of Becoming Superhuman, then leave your thoughts below, as well as any tips you have on the benefits of apples.