The Apple is very delicious, full of rich nutrients, widely consumed all over the world, and available year round. The saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” is not far from the truth. Regular consumption of the fruit can provide many vital nutrients and can help prevent a lot of health problems. There are many health benefits of this highly antioxidant fruit.
It has three important nutrients – antioxidants, fibers, and simple sugars.
It is a very rich source of antioxidants. They contain flavonoids and polyphenols, both of which are powerful antioxidants. It’s skin contains quercetin, which is a very powerful flavonoid. According to researchers, flavonoids help prevent cardiac disease in humans. When consumed regularly, flavonoids can lower the risk of cardiac disease by 20%. A 100g of this fruit is equivalent to 1500mg of vitamin C in terms of antioxidant content.
The antioxidants present in the fruit fight the free radicals in the body that tend to damage DNA. They also reduce the risk of cancer significantly.
The fruit is one of the richest sources of both soluble and insoluble fibers. A medium unpeeled one has around 3 grams of fiber. The fiber content in the fruit can bring down cholesterol levels significantly and reduce the risk of heart diseases and stroke.
The insoluble fiber present in the fruit helps remove the LDL cholesterol, which is the bad cholesterol, from the body. The soluble fiber reduces the amount of LDL cholesterol produced in liver. By eating two of these fruits a day, you can bring down your cholesterol levels by 16%.
The soluble fiber in the fruit also helps remove the toxins and heavy metals like lead and mercury from the system.
The rich fiber content in the fruit ensures regular bowel movement. Eating one or two of these fruits a day regularly can help you stay away from constipation. The soluble fiber present in apple, pectin, also has the ability the firm up excessively loose stool and is thus used as a natural medication for diarrhea.
The simple sugar in the fruit – fructose – is the one that breaks down slowly and helps keep your blood sugar levels stable.
Regular consumption of the fruit can help prevent kidney stones. The antioxidants in the fruit are also known to protect the skin from various skin diseases.
Apples by Alex Skelly
The Acerola Cherry
Antioxidants are substances and nutrients that prevent oxidation damages to our body. Most antioxidants can be found in fresh fruits and vegetables. The most common of these fruits would be the cherries. But wait! Are you aware that there are a variety of them? There are thousands of them but one of the most sought after is the acerola cherry.
The acerola cherry (also known as the Barbados cherry) is a tropical and subtropical antioxidant fruit. Acerola cherry plants are found in the southern part areas of America such as Florida, the Caribbean, Texas, and Mexico. On the other hand, they are cultivated in Australia, India, Sri Lanka, Ethiopia, and Taiwan.
This power fruit is known for its high content of vitamin C that is stronger than that of the famous orange. It has numerous but one of the most common acerola cherry health benefits would be its strengthening of the body’s immune system. It can also lower the risk of heart disease and neurological disorders.
Do you eat acerola cherries? Why or why not?
While Chelan cherries are very similar to Bing cherries due to their sweetness, dark red color, and cultivation in the same area, the Chelan cherries ripen nearly two weeks before Bing cherries do. As a result, Chelan cherries are more popular in the early season. Chelan cherries can be cross-pollinated by other types of cherries, such as:
- Rainier cherries
- Bing cherries
- Van cherries
Chelan cherries were developed by the researcher Dr. Tom Toyama and released by Dr. Ed Proebsting at Washington State University in the ’90s as a hybrid cherry. Although at first-glance they seem to be the same as Bing cherries, they differ not only in ripening time, but also in that Chelan cherries are less likely to crack. Bing cherries tend to break open with heavy rainfall. Chelan types of cherries are also a little less sweet than Bing cherries are, although still rather sweet when compared to other types.
Like other types of cherries, the Chelan variety produces a whole host of health benefits. The health benefits of Chelan cherries include:
- vitamin C content – helps the immune system
- antioxidant properties (anthocyanin content) – reduces risk of cancer, can act as an inflammatory fruit
The combination of Chelan cherries’ vitamin C content and antioxidant properties, like other cherries, lower the risk of an outbreak of gout or arthritis in suffers, as well as reducing the likelihood of these problems developing in the first place. In other words, get to eating some Chelan cherries! Be sure not to go overboard with Chelan cherries if you have blood sugar problems.
The Bing cherry is one of the many types of cherries that have been cultivated specifically for its sweet taste. It comes mainly from the northwest United States, in places like Oregon, Washington, and California. Bing cherries do the best in climates that are regularly wet. Within the US, they are some of the most popular and sought after cherries, most commonly harvested fresh in June and July.
So how what is it about Bing cherries anyway? Well, they are sweet all the time (even sweeter than rainier cherries) and are great for jams, preservatives, and pies. When used in pie, however, you should aim for Bing cherries that aren’t as ripe. They’re naturally so sweet that they can sometimes be too much (too much sweetness? — yes, it is possible) when used for pies, which do better with the types of cherries that are more tart. In fact, Bing cherries would likely make a good addition to a smoothie that is too tart or sour.
Speaking of which, Bing cherries are powerful antioxidant fruits. Many people don’t realize this because the cherry is so common in society that we tend to take it for granted. The truth is that the USDA performed studies that determined that these cherries reduce toxins and are actually an inflammatory!
Cherries also contain vitamin C (the good news just keeps coming). They have been looked into for the prevention of arthritis and gout. Interestingly enough, eating Bing cherries has been noted to decrease uric acid in the body by 60%. This lowering of blood levels could be enough to reduce the risk of gout.
So many different types of cherries and so little time to taste them all! As researchers continue to create hybrid cherries, we get to taste test the delicious results. Lapins cherries are one of these hybrids. Similar in taste to Bing cherries, Lapins are about an inch in width and are much more rain-resistant than Bings are. The Lapins cherry is a cross between Van and Stella cherries and was developed in British Columbia by the Pacific Agri-Food Research Centre. The Lapins cherry is one of the types of cherries that are sweet (others include Chelan and Rainier cherries).
You can see how this is an improvement on Bing cherries. Lapins cherries are just as tasty but are bigger and juicier. They are typically a red or purple color. The best part about Lapins cherries is that they self-pollinate. If you want to grow cherries at your house and have plenty of room in your yard, consider a Lapins cherry tree. These trees grow to about 20 feet in maturity and don’t require you to plant another sweet cherry cultivar for pollination. Mid-summer is usually when the cherries are at their ripest.
Lapins cherries are no different from other cherries in that they contain vitamin C and antioxidant properties. Dark fruits tend to have a higher anthocyanin content, which can reduce the risk of cancer. To reap the health benefits of Lapins cherries, eat some raw or prepare them as a jam. Since they are naturally sweet, you don’t need to add any extra sugar for a better taste – the cherry itself does that for you.