Health is greatest blessing as well as great gift of Allah. A bit carelessness regarding health can mess up the whole life, so one should take care of it. Healthy eating habits, timely eating and drinking of fluids with moderation are necessary for good health.
Unfortunately, the eating habit of present generation has switched towards fast foods, soft drinks, snacks, packed and ready meals. These food items are full of chemical preservatives, free radicals, synthetic flavours and greasy substances.
The majorities of these chemicals are toxic and carcinogenic, and cause stomach ache, gastrointestinal problems, food poisoning, mouth ulcers, inflammation, high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, cholesterol problem and even cancers.
All these ailments are common today, or we can say them as life style diseases. The best solution to health spoiling-oily, spicy cum synthetic junk foods are lifesaving, natural edibles like fresh fruits, dry fruit, salads, homemade foods, etc. And among all the bites apple- the juicy crunch does the wonders.
Shekarchueemadhurkand – sehtschukhczepasand
Apple is the most popular fruit among the health conscious persons, who surely believe in the concept of “ZouAur, jehaanaur”(health is wealth).
Bio-active substances in apple
Apples are extremely rich in bio-active substances (phyto-nutrients): Fibers (pectins), B-carotene, B-crypto-xanthin, Lutein-zeaxanthin, terpenoids, flavonoids, phenolics, tartaric acid, anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals. (USDA National Nutrient data base record).
Due to the presence of these constituents, apple is being praised as a “miracle fruit”.
Some important flavonoids in apples are quercetin, epicatechin, and procyanidin B2. Apple fruit’s rich flavor comes from phyto-chemical- tartaric acid. It also contains a small amount of minerals like potassium, iron, phosphorus, boron, and calcium. It does not contain fats, sodium or cholesterol.
The fruit contains good quantities of vitamin-C (a powerful natural antioxidant), vitamin B-complex such as riboflavin, thiamine, and pyridoxine (vitamin B-6). These vitamins help as co-factors/functional groups for enzymes in metabolism (bio- processes).
All these compounds, together- protect the body from deleterious effects of free radicals, prevent diseases and promote the physical condition. In short apples are indispensable for optimal health, and thereby, truly justifying the proverb,
Miracles of apple
Scientists from the American Association for cancer research, agree that the consumption of flavonol rich apples (particularly red delicious of Kashmir) could help in reducing the risk of developing pancreatic cancer. Triterpenoids (C30-isoprenoids), in apple peel have effective anti-growth activities against cancer cells in liver, colon and breast.
The dietary fibre present in the apple, ferments in the colon, and produces chemicals, which bind to cancer-causing chemicals inside the colon and saves the colon mucous membrane from exposure to toxic substances.
Thus prevent formation of cancer. Tier-2-test of laboratory rats proved that, extracts from whole apples can reduce the no. and size of mammary tumors in rats (research at Cornell University).
Consumption of apples and apple juices slow the oxidation process, so prevent building of plaque in arteries and check heart ailments. Further pectin present in the fruit also impedes cholesterol from depositing on the walls of blood vessels, thus reduce the risk of arteriosclerosis.
Prevent high blood pressure and reduce stroke
Apples are high in potassium, which is an important component of cell and body fluids. It helps in controlling heart rate and blood pressure by countering with the bad influences of sodium. It can also reduce the risk of thrombotic stroke.
Lowering levels of bad cholesterol
Apples are low in calories. It is the top fruit with plenty of pectin, soluble fibers that reduces cholesterol by preventing absorption of dietary-LDL (low density lipoprotein) or bad cholesterol in the gut.
Moreover, pectin binds with fats in intestines, and translates it into good cholesterol (HDL; high density lipoprotein). Case study: A group of researchers at The Florida State University found that older women who ate apples everyday had 23% less (LDL) and 4% more (HDL) after just six months.
Reduce risk of diabetes
As apples are full of soluble fibers (pectins) the vehicle, to which blood sugar clings and moves to and fro, with the result is reduced in the blood and in turn reduces Type 2 Diabetes.
Improving neurological health
Red delicious flavonoids had strong neuroprotective effects. So apples are good for neurological health. The fruit also contains a powerful antioxidant called “quercetin” that protect brain cells from degeneration or reduce cellular death, caused by oxidation and inflammation of neurons.
A flavonoid called phloridzin found only in apples, protect nourishing mothers and post-menopausal women from osteoporosis and also increase bone density. Boron another ingredient in apples, also strengthen bones.
Boosts immune system
An anti-oxidant quercetin present in the red apples can boost and strengthen the immune system. Apples helps us to with stand cold and other respiratory diseases.
Vitamin C also helps the body to develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals from the body.
Bilqis Akhter Wani