Did you know that there are more than 7,000 varieties of apples cultivated worldwide? None are exactly alike in taste and appearance, but all share the same miraculous heath benefits, such as protection against lung disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes and asthma.
This fall, Dr. Smith encourages you to go apple picking — either at your local orchard or grocery store. Not only will you pluck a delicious snack, but you’ll also harvest your health along the way.
Why are apples so nutritious? For decades, scientists tried to isolate apples’ health benefit. Is it their vitamin C content? Their fiber? Another yet-to-be-discovered disease-busting antioxidant?
The truth, according to scientists from Cornell University, is that a combination of phytochemicals in apples — not a single vitamin or nutrient — keeps disease away (Nature 2000;405:903-4).
Phytochemicals are plant chemicals that have disease-preventive properties. Apples contain a variety of phytochemicals, all of which are strong antioxidants. Antioxidants reduce the number of damaging free-radical chemicals throughout the body.
If available at your local market, opt for organic apples. Organic produce is grown without the use of pesticides. Non-organic fruits and vegetables often have pesticides and other chemical residues.
Organic fruits and vegetables are also better for our environment, soil and water.