An apple a day, keeps the Doctor away

An apple a day, keeps the Doctor away

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In the midst of preparing her apple pie recipe, cheddar cheese crust from scratch, fresh farm apples, and grass fed butter, Holly asks a relevant question. Does an apple a day really keep the doctor away? I actually didn’t have the scientific answer to this. How many of my patients eat apples? and how many eat them daily I wondered ? More importantly, how many of them don’t ever need to see me because of it? And perhaps for their own health benefit, should I be asking them to start on an apple a day if they aren’t already doing so? Looking into one of the widely accepted food and nutrition research sources, the Nutrition Journal, I found a study published in 2004 by Dr. Jeanelle Boyer, which specifically highlights the benefits of apple phytochemicals. The beginning of the article caught me with a stunner of a statistic, ‘a healthy diet could prevent approximately 30% of all cancers.’ Three out of ten cancers that are being diagnosed could have been prevented by diet alone. While many of us are downing supplements in hopes of health benefit, perhaps we need to begin looking at the greater overall picture, the food at our table. We live in an environment that is ‘oxidative’, which means that our cells are constantly under attack by elements, which subject our DNA to damage. Despite our body’s internal self-defense system, a programmed ability to repair DNA, it’s abilities are incomplete, in repairing the ongoing damage that accumulates with time. However, a diet higher in fruits and vegetables, creates more ‘antioxidation’ providing more protection for our cells and their vital DNA. Antioxidants in the form of phytochemicals are components of fruits and vegetables, which protect our cells from the daily ‘oxidative hits’ from our environment. That includes an estimated ’10,000 hits to DNA per cell per day’ which is quite a lot for a single cell, whose only good defense may come from the diet we choose for our bodies. So back to those apples that contain a very significant source of the phytochemical flavonoids. In the US alone we consume 22% of our fruit phytochemicals from apples. From a nutritionist’s standpoint, apples rank high among other foods such as cocoa, cranberries, and wine as containing a high amount of beneficial phytochemicals. Besides reducing cancer risks and heart disease, apples also seem beneficial in reducing the risk diabetes. Apeels are even more beneficial, containing quercetin, a flavonoid and antioxidant. Which varieties of apples will give you the highest level of flavonoids? Fuji apples and Red delicious are among the highest in flavonoids of the top ten varieties we are familiar with in our local stores and markets. Now back to Holly’s question, and her apple pie recipe. If you take a look at all the benefits above, you’ll be amazed that something that tastes so good, could be so good for you. Short answer to the adage mentioned at the beginning of the article, ‘YES, an apple a day sure does keep the doctor away.’ So as you’re looking into ways to incorporate more apples into your diet, below you’ll find Holly’s amazing recipe for homemade apple pie w/ a twist… What’s the twist? A cheddar cheese crust! Check it out:

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