Thursday, June 3, 2010

An apple a day!

A recent study suggests that an apple diet helps protect the brain from effects of oxidative stress, helps aid digestion and promotes weight loss

An apple might successfully keep the doctor away, but recent research also proves that apples help you have a good memory even as you grow old. A study by the University of Massachusetts Lowell suggests that eating and drinking apples and apple juice in conjunction with a balanced diet can protect the brain from the effects of oxidative stress that contributes to age-related memory loss.

Apples are a very good source of dietary fibre, which helps aid digestion and promotes weight loss. Elaborating on the study and on the benefits of apples, nutrition consultant Geetu Amarnani, says, "Apples are a rich source of vitamins and minerals. They are low in calories and fat which means you can eat lots of apples without consuming too much energy." She adds that the fibre helps by filling the stomach quicker and thereby limiting the amount of food eaten.

Apple is found to prevent skin wrinkles and is also found to play a role in inhibiting ageing-related problems, preventing wrinkles and promoting hair growth. "Apples contain flavonoids and antioxidants that improve immune function, prevent heart disease, and some cancers," says Amarnani.

Amarnani discards the myth that consuming too many apples can lead to tooth decay, by saying, "On the contrary, eating apples is very good for the teeth and gums. Biting into the apple will exercise the gums keeping them healthy." It is better to eat a fresh apple or preparing apple juice at home. The apple juice available in the market is processed and contains extra sugar and due to the chemical treatments, it may also lose the nutrients in it.

One of the most easiest way of incorporating apple in daily meals is to eat them fresh at breakfast time or any time during the day as a mid meal snack. Apples can be added to most dishes like salads, or baked in desserts to make them tastier and more nutritious. Washington apples which are said to be the best apples in the world are available in India. Sumit Saran of SCS group which represents the Washington Apple Commission in India says, "Red Delicious, Golden Delicious and Granny Smith are some of the popular variants of Washington apples in India."

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