Moment for Health: An Apple a Day

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applesThe air has shifted into a delicious cool that drapes the morning light in the essence of change.

Birds have already begun their migratory track down south, stopping over the Back Bay for a bit of lazy day fishing, squawking and resting.

The sun angles differently across the horizon as if it too feels a slight bit lazy, traversing the sky a little less high and a little less bright.

The start of Fall has officially begun, the equinox now a few days past and for the most part city life continues on its querulous path, pushing and shoving and forgetting the marks of the season.

Many fruits and vegetables find themselves at their most edible at this time, but the true mark of Fall begins with the ripening of a luscious, tart and sweet fruit that has tailed mankind for thousands of years.

The humble, wholesome apple still tantalizes the human race with its scrumptious taste. With many exotic fruits taking a front seat, the apple might find itself in the background but continues to provide buckets of benefits worthy of its biblical reference.

Apples truly are a wonderful fruit. The tree itself when in bloom is a beautiful sight to see, beautiful white to pink petals exploding their colors all over the tree. Needing pollinators, the flowers are always abuzz, especially by bees as the pollen becomes shared amongst each tree through these vital little creatures. And soon the light hint of apples tails the wind and gives clues to the rise of the red to pink to green prizes hanging off the limbs.

Eating an apple a day is certainly sound advice given that it contains quite a handful of nutrition in each tasty crunch. Apples contain wonderful phytochemicals that are so beneficial to protecting the body from disease. The polyphenols found inside the juicy flesh actually protect the apple cells from the sun’s UV-B radiation during photoysynthesis. And it’s that high polyphenol content that actually contributes to the browning of the skin when its cut open and exposed to air.

Take note that apples that have been dropped or bruised release a gas called ethylene that can actually damage other apples, giving truth to the phrase, “one bad apple can spoil the whole bunch.”

Antioxidant benefits give the humble apple its ability to decrease the body’s oxidation of cell membrane fats that might otherwise clog an artery or two and lowers the risk of asthma and lung cancer. This round red orb contains 8 milligrams of vitamin C and with the fruits sumptuous flavonoid content the vitamin C becomes more effective.

The natural malic acid content softens gallstones and keeps the bile flowing and digestion on track. Youthfulness in the form of ursolic acid finds itself hiding out in the apple’s peel. New studies have shown that ursolic acid has the ability to increase skeletal muscle and good fat while decreasing bad fat, obesity, glucose intolerance and fatty liver disease.

Eating an apple also increases saliva levels to keep bacteria in check and tooth decay at bay.

So it is time to grab your car key and take one fine Fall day to visit the historic town of Julian in San Diego county where the smell of apple pie baking tickles the nostrils while picking a “half a peck of apples” at a nearby by apple orchard (visit applesandartorchards.com).

There’s always a bushel of fun to be had collecting a fruit that keeps a body fit, healthy and happy with its cardiovascular, antioxidant, anti-cancer, anti-asthma, and age-defying benefits readily available in one big juicy bite.

Gina can be reached at [email protected]

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