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The Healing Potential of Food


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The famous physician Hippocrates once stated that, "Everyone has a doctor in him or her; we just have to help it in its work. The natural healing force within each one of us is the greatest force in getting well. Our food should be our medicine. Our medicine should be our food."


I thought that since some of you are interested in nutritional research that you might enjoy this website since it lists all the most recent scientific findings on each food as well as all of its nutritional content:




Here is an example of some of the information you would find on the site about apples:


Health Benefits

Apples are such commonly-consumed fruits that it's easy to overlook their amazing and unique health benefits. Apples combine certain nutrients in a way that sets them apart from all other fruits and makes them a food of choice for achieving several health goals. Here's what apples can do for you when it comes to your health:


Unique Support for Heart Health


When it comes to heart health, all of us need to keep blood circulating around through our bodies (1,776 gallons get pumped by our hearts every day!), and it's very important for substances in our blood and the walls of our blood vessels to stay healthy and protected from damage. Antioxidants are one key to heart health, because they help protect our cardiovascular system from oxygen-related damage. (With respect to blood flow, oxygen damage is a risk that "comes with the territory," since the transport of oxygen throughout our body is one of the bloodstream's responsibilities). Apples contain a long list of phytonutrients that function as antioxidants and support our heart health in this way. Included in this list are quercetin, catechin, phloridzin and chlorogenic acid. To take full advantage of the antioxidants in apples, it's important to include the skins. Since the skins are also most exposed to the outside world, we always recommend the purchase of organically-grown apples to minimize the apple skin's exposure to unwanted pesticide sprays and other potential contaminants.


Antioxidants aren't the only reason to include apples in a heart-supportive diet, however. You'll get about 4 grams of dietary fiber in a medium-sized, 5-ounce apple, or about 15% of the Daily Value (DV) for fiber. Included in this total amount is both insoluble fiber (like cellulose) and soluble fiber (like pectin). Studies have shown that both types of fiber can help keep your LDL cholesterol levels under control, and if you have LDL cholesterol levels that are too high, can help lower them. In some studies, as little as two ounces of apple per day (less than ½ of a medium-sized apple) have been found to be helpful. That amount means that you would only need to eat one medium-sized apple three days per week to fit into this same heart benefits category.


Along with antioxidants and fiber, flavonoids are a third reason to bring apples into a heart-supportive diet. You'll get impressive amounts of flavonoids in the skins and pulp of apples - and these flavonoids have plenty of tricks up their sleeve for helping protect your heart health. Many flavonoids provide antioxidant protection; some help prevent excessive and unwanted inflammation; others help prevent too much clumping together of blood platelets; and still others help regulate blood pressure and overproduction of fat in your liver cells. Flavonoids have repeatedly been shown to help lower risk of heart disease, and also to improve problems with heart disease once it has occurred.


One piece of evidence that helps confirm all of the above health benefits is evidence involving apple juice. In several studies, "cloudy" apple juice that contains apple pulp found in whole apples is clearly better at supporting your cardiovascular system than "clear" apple juice that does not contain this pulp. Since so much of the fiber and antioxidant and flavonoid content is contained in the pulp, this finding makes sense, and underscores the importance of the whole, natural food form. Are whole, intact apples still a better choice than apple juice - even "cloudy" apple juice that contains apple pulp? Yes, whole fresh apples are going to support your heart health in a way that no other form of apple can.


Cancer Protection


While not as strong or extensive as the research on heart health, apples have jumped out among fruits in some studies involving cancer risk. Reduced risk of lung cancer in women, for example, has been associated with daily consumption of apples, and apples were the only specific fruit that showed this beneficial association with lung cancer. From a fairly large collection of laboratory studies and studies on animals, there is good reason to believe that apples may be helpful in reducing risk of colon cancer and breast cancer as well, even though it will take a series of human studies to see if these benefits hold true for people and under what circumstances.


Protection Against Asthma and Lung Support


Unlike grapefruit, grapefruit juice, citrus fruits as a group, or fruits in general, apples have shown up in several studies as a significant way to lower asthma risk. In fact, apples have stood out amongst other fruits when it comes to general support of lung function and lung health. Flavonoids unique to apple - including phloridzin - are thought to play a potentially key role in the special ability of apples to support lung health.


Health Benefits Practical Tip: Don't assume that apples are somehow less special than more exotic, and less widely-consumed fruits. They aren't! Apples combine fiber and flavonoids and antioxidant nutrients in a way that is unique and unmatched by other fruits. While you won't need an apple a day to keep health problems away, it looks like you will need about three medium-sized apples per week to get some of their key health benefits.

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