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Eat Apples for Osteoporosis

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Apples are just awesome. There’s a reason why they are native to so many parts of the world – they are really good for you! This is also the reason that we include apples as a primary snack in our Fall Cleanse Program, which is going on right now. Check it out here.

It’s fall and apples are in season. When local foods are in season – they are always a good choice! But there are many other reasons to love apples. Most importantly, they taste great (especially in the fall) and that unique combination of tart and sweet makes the perfect healthy snack. They’re very versatile to bake, stew, boil them, or eat them just as they are. They’re a great source of fibre, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. They definitely taste better this time of year.

Don’t skimp when shopping for apples though. Choose organic whenever possible unless you know your farmer. Apples rank at the top of the list when it comes to pesticide residue, according to the Environmental Working Group’s “Dirty Dozen” (www.ewg.org), which includes strawberries and leafy greens. Buy organic apples to minimize your exposure to these toxins. At the very least make sure you wash your apples with a veggie wash or in apple cider vinegar.

Always eat the peel to get the most out of the fruit’s fibre and nutrients. Some apples are more nutritious than others. McIntosh, the official Canadian apple, is high in nutrition and low in natural sugars, while Golden Delicious carry fewer nutrients and contain significant amounts of natural sugars.

You may not realize that eating a fresh, crisp apple gives you a unique bone-building phytonutrient called phloridzin. This flavonoid antioxidant is only found in apples — especially in the peels — and can help improve bone density and reduce bone breakdown for women after menopause.

In addition to generous amounts of vitamin C, potassium, and fibre, apples also contain boron, a trace mineral needed to help our bodies metabolize and use other nutrients more efficiently.

Not only to apples help building bones - they help improve digestion, metabolism, brain function and help to alkalize your body.

So really, just start eating an apple a day.

More apple facts:

  • Apples contain no fat, sodium or cholesterol and are a great source of pectin, a soluble fibre.
  • One apple has 5 grams of fibre (with the skins that is!) It’s recommended for women to get 25g of fibre per day and 38g/day for men.
  • High levels of boron and phloridzin make it a great food to prevent osteoporosis and strengthen bones, stimulate electrical activity of the brain and increase mental alertness.
  • Apples have the ability to boost estrogen levels in menopausal women, which can be helpful to reduce symptoms.
  • You should eat apples with the skin as most of the antioxidants, phytonutrients and fibre in apples, including quercetin, are found in the skin.
  • Apple trees take four to five years to produce their first fruit.
  • Apples ripen six to ten times faster at room temperature than if they are refrigerated.
  • Apple varieties range in size from a little larger than a cherry to as large as a grapefruit. The largest apple ever picked weighed 3 pounds.
  • Apples harvested from an average tree can fill 20 boxes that weigh 42 pounds each.
  • 25% of an apple’s volume is air; that is why they can float.
  • Apples are a member of the rose family and roses are just awesome in every way!
  • The top apple producers around the world are China, United States, Turkey, Poland and Italy.
  • Most apples are still picked by hand in the fall.
  • The average person eats about 65 apples yearly.
  • Only the Crabapple is native to North America…SO GET IT IN YA!
  • The McIntosh apple is the national apple of Canada.
  • Apples are said to symbolize health, love and fertility.
  • The science of apple cultivation is known as Pomology.
  • Apples are said to have originated from a region between the Caspian Sea and the Black Sea.
  • Apple trees have a life of over 100 years.
  • The Apple Macintosh computer was named so as it was the favourite apple of creator, Jef Raskin.
  • People who love apples are said to be outspoken, charismatic and enthusiastic.
  • According to Chinese Medicine: Apples strengthen the heart, quench thirst, lubricate the lungs, decrease mucous and increase body fluids – all good stuff!

References:

Puel, C., A. Quintin, J. Mathey, C. Obled, M. J. Davicco, P. Lebecque, S. Kati-Coulibaly, M. N. Horcajada, and V. Coxam. 2005. Prevention of bone loss by phloridzin, an apple polyphenol, in ovariectomized rats under inflammation conditions. Calcified Tissue International 77(5):311–318. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16307390 (abstract accessed 10.04.12).

Nielsen, F. H., C. D. Hunt, L. M. Mullen, and J. R. Hunt. 1987. Effect of dietary boron on mineral, estrogen, and testosterone metabolism in postmenopausal women. FASEB Journal 1(5):394–397. http://www.fasebj.org/cgi/reprint/1/5/394 (accessed 05.13.2008).

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