The amazing apple

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Greg Maurer

It’s that time again – apples are in season! Not only do apples taste great – they provide powerful health benefits!

A medium apple is a low-calorie nutrition powerhouse – particularly if you buy organic and eat the skin.       A medium apple provides 4 grams of fiber, a nice dose of Vitamin C along with being a rich source of polyphenols (beneficial plant chemicals). Most of the fiber and polyphenols are in the skin!

Polyphenols stimulate the body to produce more antioxidants through a process called hormesis. These plant chemicals are produced by plants to defend themselves and are designed to be poisonous to insects.

Because of our size the doses of polyphenols behave differently in humans and stimulate our cellular defenses and detoxification pathways. Apples contain multiple types of beneficial polyphenols including flavanols, catechin, epicatechin, and procyanidins.

Apples and Alzheimer’s Disease

High concentrations of polyphenols from apples have been shown to stimulate the generation of new neurons in the brain – a process called neurogenesis. It is important to note that blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, and raspberries all produce similar benefits to the aging brain. The key with all of them is to buy organic. Organically grown produce tends to have higher quantities of these beneficial plant chemicals because it must survive pests without the assistance of synthetic pesticides.

If you cannot find organic apples make sure you wash them thoroughly to remove as much pesticide as possible.

A study following 921 people showed that those who consumed the highest levels of flavonoids (a type of polyphenol) had 48% lower chance of developing Alzheimer’s Disease. Apples are among the richest sources of flavonoids, but remember most of them are in the skin!

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