Sometimes the most obvious and simple things are over looked. Take the apple. As a piece of fruit, I think it is just beautiful to look at – the perfect shape, just the right size with a delicious sweet smell. And, yes it is crunchy, juicy and fresh. Eating an apple always makes me feel like I am eating the energy of the sun. My fitness and Pilates instructor, Lorin Shamos, reminded me just how good apples are for you and challenged me to eat one every day for a week and see if it made me feel any different. I took the challenge and he was right. The apple was very satisfying as a part of my morning meal and it really did stay with me most of the morning, helping that energy/hunger dip just before lunch. Here is Lorin’s article on his website www.livefitstrong.
An Apple A Day Keeps The Doctor Away – By Lorin Shamos www.livefitstrong.com
When the early explorers returned from their travels and introduced new fruits and vegetables into Europe, the Europeans often didn’t know what to call them. To them, the name “apple” symbolized all fruits and was at one time bestowed upon melons, avocados, cashews, cherimoyas, dates, eggplants, lemons, oranges, peaches, pineapples, pine nuts, pomegranates, potatoes, quinces, and tomatoes. Poet Robert Frost found this rather amusing and penned this poem:
The rose is a rose,
And was always a rose.
But the theory now goes
That the apple’s a rose.
We all know the famous 19th century quotation “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”. Before the 20th century there was no food guide to inform us to eat five servings of fruits and vegetables a day, it was just good sense. Eating an apple a day is a good nutritious snack that will provide many great benefits like vitamins A, C and lesser amounts of Calcium and Iron. Most importantly it is an excellent source of pectin, a compound found in many fruits, but Apples contain one of the highest amounts. Apple pectin is high in fiber and its anti-inflammatory properties and beneficial bacteria make it an excellent choice for treatment of digestive disorders, and can be found in products like Kaopactate. Doctors may even recommend Apples as a low cost alternative of maintaining digestive heath, especially for people suffering from coronary artery disease and diabetes. Apple pectin is also an antioxidant and in this day and age of processed and fast food, every source we can get antioxidants from – the better. Good stuff.
How an apple a day REALLY keeps the doctor away…
In my earlier less informed days I used to eat sporadically and indulgently. My day consisted of fast food and processed packaged snacks to eat and coffee, Soda pop, and alcohol to wash it all down. Occasionally I would get some veggies in there and maybe a piece of fruit or two (usually buried in ice cream), but for the majority of the time it was non-existent. Unsurprisingly during that time of my life I would get sick a lot too. My immune system weakened from poor nutrition and lack of respect it was an obvious sign that I ignored like a street barker -saying something but I don’t want to hear it. One day I got really sick. After three courses of antibiotics and forced bed rest, I was ready to NEVER be sick again. I replaced all the fast food with home cooked meals, and soda pop with water. I began to read labels and stopped eating foods out of a package and I hit the gym and got better sleep too. I replaced the assortment of bottled digestive aids with apples and oranges- eaten in between meals. Food was my medicine.
Soon after that decision I stopped eating oranges so frequently ‘due to the high aciditycontent it was not agreeing with me so much’. So I began to eat apples everyday. At first because I told myself that I NEEDED to but then something interesting happened. My constant taste for sweets, cookies and candy practically disappeared. What I did not know was that little piece of fruit was regulating my blood sugar and leveled out my insulin. In plain English it stopped the highs and lows that I was getting from eating processed sugary snacks.
While an apple a day alone is not enough to keep you healthy and out of the doctor’s office, it certainly is a great start.