Packin' A Punch
Apples ~ Super Fruits
Packing a big antioxidant punch
Flavonoids in this super fruit can help lower the risk of disease
If you look solely at lists showing the super fruits that are highest in vitamin-C or read about the super health promoting powers of the latest popular fruit, you might wonder if Grandma’s advice “An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” still merits serious consideration.
Well, as research moves further and deeper into the study of the thousands of natural compounds we get from fruits, vegetables, whole grains and other plant foods, this fruit still keep it's shine.
are well-established as an important part of how healthful eating can lower our risk of heart disease and cancer, and possibly other conditions that can develop as we age.
They're also frequently discussed in relation to vitamins-C and E, and perhaps other plant compounds such as beta-carotene.
However, super fruits and vegetables also provide flavonoids, a large group of compounds that are all antioxidants.
The antioxidant power of flavonoids is one reason these fruits are again in the spotlight.
Granted, they contain only modest amounts of
One of medium size averages about 6 milligrams of vitamin-C, not much compared to the recommended daily intake of 75 to 90 milligrams for adults.
But scientists have now calculated the "antioxidant power" of that same sized fruit is equal to more than 1,500 milligrams of vitamin-C.
The vast majority of it's antioxidants come from flavonoids.
A Weapon Against Cancer & Cholesterol
are key elements in preventing cancer, because they stabilize highly reactive free radicals that can otherwise damage our DNA and begin the process of cancer development.
Antioxidants are also considered a key step in heart health because they protect blood vessels.
They also keep LDL cholesterol in a less damaging form.
Along with antioxidant protection, these fruits contain pectin, a soluble fiber that helps lower blood cholesterol.
Higher blood cholesterol is associated with a greater incidence of heart disease.
In the Women’s Health Study of about 40,000 U.S. women, researchers analyzed apple consumption and heart health.
After controlling for other fruits along with vegetables, fiber and other nutrients, the study found that women who ate at least one a day (remember what Grandma says) developed 22 percent less heart disease than women who ate none.
Cancer prevention benefits appear to stem from more than antioxidants as well.
Lab studies show that this fruits extracts and the concentrated compounds, can reduce growth and reproduction of colon and lung cancer cells.
Among more than 77,000 women in the Nurses’ Health Study, daily consumption was linked to 37 percent lower risk of lung cancer, after controlling for smoking and other risk factors.
Results of a study from Finland showed that highest flavonoid consumption, of which apples were an important part, was linked with a 20 percent lower risk of cancer overall and a 46 percent lower risk of lung cancer.
So, it seems Grandma was right again!
And, if you're wondering what to have for dessert tonight, might we suggest;
Apple & Cherry, Cinnamon Crisp
Warm and fruity, this desert recipe is spiked with sweet and tangy dried cherries.
Fresh or dried,
contain impressive amounts of antioxidants, as well as some fiber and potassium.
Plus, the wonderful benefits of
Ounce for ounce, dried cherries are higher in nutrients than their fresh counterparts, but they also have more calories,
so it's best to enjoy them in moderation.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 40 minutes
Makes 12 (1-c.) Servings
1/4 c. unsweetened dried cherries.
1/2 c. hot water.
1/2 c. old-fashioned rolled oats.
1/2 c. chilled trans-fat free margarine.
1/2 c. whole grain pastry flour.
1/4 c. plus 2 Tbs. granular sugar substitute.
2 Tbs. ground cinnamon.
9 Granny Smiths, cored and sliced (9-10 c).
2 Tbs. freshly squeezed lemon juice.
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
Lightly coat 13" x 9" baking dish with cooking spray.
2. Place cherries and water in bowl and soak cherries until ready to use.
3. Meanwhile, combine oats, margarine, 1/4 c. of the flour, 1/4 c. of the sugar substitute, and 1 Tbs. of the cinnamon in medium bowl.
Cut margarine into dry ingredients until mixture is just crumbly.
4. Toss apples and lemon juice together in large bowl.
Add remaining 1/4 c. flour, 2 Tbs. sugar substitute, and 1 Tbs. cinnamon.
Stir to combine.
5. Place grannies in baking dish.
Pour cherries and soaking water over apple mixture and toss gently to combine.
Sprinkle oat topping evenly over fruit.
Bake until apples are tender, about 40 minutes.
Serve apple-crisp desert warm.
1 g. Protein,
23 g. Carbohydrates,
7 g. Fat,
2 g. Saturated Fat,
0 mg. Cholesterol,
5 g. Fiber,
60 mg. Sodium
Make Ahead: Bake, cool, cover, and refrigerate up to 1 day.
Heat through in 325°F oven before serving.
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Super Fruits ~ Return
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