Optimum nutrition is the foundation for optimum health according to Bradley McEwen, PhD, MHSc(Hum Nutr), BHSc, Naturopath and Senior Lecturer at Southern Cross University.
Fruit and vegetables are extremely important for a healthy lifestyle as sources of nutrients for optimal health. Fruit and vegetables are important in the reduction of disease risk. These disease risks include hypertension, coronary heart disease, stroke, macular degeneration, cataracts, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, and many more. The old adage, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” has been verified by several studies.1
Evidence suggests a link between the consumption of fruit and vegetables reducing the risk of dementia, cardiovascular disease, as well as reduced risk of body weight and obesity, dementia and cognitive decline1; improved microvascular function, macrovascular function, inflammatory status, oxidative stress, immune response and weight maintenance.2
Apples are one of the most widely consumed fruits worldwide.3 The health effects of apples is attributed to their high content of quercetin, various vitamins and minerals, and fibre. Apples have numerous health benefits, including reducing inflammation, total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, and asthma as well as improving vascular function and type 2 diabetes. Apple pectin is a soluble fibre that has cholesterol lowering properties and beneficial effects on glucose metabolism. Koustos et al further identified that pectin affects transit time, gastric emptying, and nutrient absorption from the digestive tract.
Apples are also a great source of prebiotics which support healthy gastrointestinal composition and healthy microbial diversity.”
Conclusion: An apple, or two, a day may have a regular place in any preventive and management health plan. As with all fruit and vegetables, always source certified organic or unsprayed produce.
- Boeng H,Bechthold A, Bub A, et al. Critical review: vegetables and fruit in the prevention of chronic diseases. Eur J Nutr 2012; 51(6):637-63.
- Appleton KM, Hemingway A, Saulais L, et al. Increasing vegetable intakes: rationale and systemic review of published interventions. Eur J Nutr 2016; 55(3):869-96.
- Koutsos A, Tuohy KM, Lovegrove JA. Apples and cardiovascular health–is the gut microbiota a core consideration? Nutrients 2015; 7(6):3959-98. Sandoval-Ramirez BA, Catalan U,Calderon-Perez L, et al. The effects and associations of whole-apple intake on diverse cardiovascular risk factors. A narrative review. Crit Rev Food sci Nutr 2020:1-14