An apple a day keeps the doctor away | By Jubel D’Cruz, Mumbai

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An apple a day keeps the doctor away

AN apple a day keeps the doctor away”. This proverb means that eating an apple daily keeps you healthy as apples are so full of vitamins and nutrients that if you eat one apple every day, you will not become sick and you will therefore not have to visit the doctor.

It has long been established that the apple is one of the best fruits. In fact, it is a mine full of vitamins, carbohydrates, minerals and fibre. Apples may also promote weight loss and improve gut and brain health.

It is estimated that a medium-sized apple has 81 calories of energy, including 21 grams of complex carbohydrates.

No doubt, apples do not contain as much vitamin C like some other fruits like guavas and oranges, but they have other antioxidants known as phytochemicals.

It is for this reason that it is said, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”. One should eat at least one apple daily. There are three main useful parts of an apple.They are its food value, fibre, and flavonoids.

Apples can act as a preventive object against heart diseases, strokes and cancer since its phytonutrients prevent oxidation of the LDL that is ‘bad’ cholesterol.

Moreover, the abundant magnesium and potassium which the apple contains are enough to ensure a healthy heart to the eater.

Potassium, in particular, lowers blood pressure and regulates heartbeat. Moreover, an apple contains zero fat and cholesterol.

Flavonoids present aplenty in the apple act as anti-oxidant agents. The apple must be eaten along with the skin.

The largest amount of minerals and vitamins in the apple is present in the skin and it goes on decreasing as one move in the flesh towards the centre.

For instance, the skin contains five times more vitamin A than the flesh (or pulp) of the apple.

According to reports, apple-eaters have better lung function than non-apple eaters. Then the pectin present in the apple aids in detoxification by supplying the galacturonic acid.

This acid is required by the body to eliminate some harmful substances. The apple is also regarded as a brain tonic.

It is said that apples control age-related deterioration in mental processes. The malice acid which the apple contains helps not only the brain but also the liver and the bowels in their efficient functioning.

The apple is useful in another way too. The acid present in it acts as an antiseptic which prevents tooth decay.

Hence, the apple should be chewed slowly and thoroughly in the mouth at the time of eating.

—The writer is contributing columnist, based in Mumbai, India

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