An apple a day may keep the cardiologist away, according to a research study conducted by Florida State University Scientists. In this USDA-funded study, a group of women were asked to eat 75g of dried apples per day. At the end of the 6-month follow up period, the apples dropped “bad” LDL cholesterol by 23%… This is comparable to cholesterol-lowering prescription medications like Lipitor.
The apple’s benefits went further than a simple reduction in cholesterol. Serial apple eaters found themselves with significantly lower levels of the pro-inflammatory protein CRP. The researchers state that the soluble fiber in the apples were likely responsible for the dramatic drop in bad cholesterol. Apples are also an abundant source of antioxidants, which also likely contributed to the reduction in inflammation that the subject’s experienced.
The myriad reported benefits of apple pectin support the old adage prescribing an apple a day. Apple pectin is linked to lower cholesterol, weight loss and a healthy digestive tract, cardiovascular system and normal blood-glucose level
Apple pectin is the naturally occurring fiber present in all varieties of apples. Pectin is in the fruit itself, not in apple juice. Other fruits contain pectin, but not in as rich a concentration. Of all apples, Jonagolds hold the top spot for the most apple pectin.
Benefits of the apple
In a 2008 study, researchers at the University of California-Davis concluded that apple pectin can lower cholesterol levels, reduce and prevent gallstones, promote a healthy digestive tract and regulate blood-sugar levels. The study showed apple pectin is also an antioxidant.
Eating apples and apple products may reduce the risk of high blood pressure, weight gain and colon cancer, according to a 1999-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. People who regularly consumed apples and apple products were significantly less likely to develop hypertension, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
One raw apple a day is enough to reap the benefits of apple pectin. Raw apples are the best source. A medium apple contains about 80 calories and 4 grams of fiber.
The formal description of Epigenetics refers to the study of changes in organisms caused by modification of gene expression rather than by an alteration of the genetic code itself. That might not tell us very much but it really is an important statement!
It’s no longer simply a case of identifying which particular genes you have. We now know that it’s the way your genes are influenced and made to work that makes the difference.
Gene expression accounts for so many of our characteristics. And changes in gene expression have been related to a very wide range of environmental influences and that includes –
are you ready for this? –what we eat!
Yes, that’s absolutely right. The kind of food we consume every single day, the quality of the food we eat, the eating choices we make all contribute far more to our total health and wellbeing than was ever appreciated before.
It’s not a question of being pre-programmed by our DNA. We’ve been bombarded by articles and news items for decades telling us every day that everything in our lives is caused by our genes. But what if it isn’t just the genetic luck of the draw? What if our health is connected far more to how we live, to what we eat and a whole range of external factors that we can influence? What if we’re not programmed to be fat?
What if it’s about the choices we make? It’s becoming increasingly clear that the choices we make are incredibly important to our health and well being. This means we really can influence our health right now right down to the cellular level and that obviously includes our weight as well. This is the breakthrough in our understanding that is revolutionising our entire approach to health and weight control. Our genes do not fully determine our weight. The answer is not only in your genetic code. Its on the end of your fork!
When it comes to specific foods you should eat to ease arthritis, an anti-inflammatory diet is best – this involves avoiding foods that make inflammation worse (saturated fat, trans fat and simple refined carbohydrate)… and eating plenty of foods that reduce inflammation.
These foods all help to reduce some aspect of inflammation:
Omega-3 fatty acids
The healthiest of fats for people with arthritis or other inflammatory disorders are omega-3 fatty acids, one of the polyunsaturated fats. While other foods increase levels of inflammation in the body, omega-3s actually work to decrease inflammation by suppressing the production of cytokines and enzymes that erode cartilage. More than a dozen studies have demonstrated that omega-3 fish oils can reduce symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Study participants reported greater strength, less fatigue, reduced joint swelling and tenderness, less joint stiffness and less pain.
Although the evidence is less clear about how fish oil affects osteoarthritis, the anti-inflammatory effects of omega-3s are so potent that I recommend an omega-3-rich diet (and, in some instances, fish-oil supplements) to all my clients with arthritis. I’ve seen some amazing success stories. The best foods for omega-3 fatty acids: salmon (wild, fresh or canned), herring, mackerel (not king), sardines, anchovies, rainbow trout, Pacific oysters, omega-3-fortified eggs, flaxseed (ground and oil), and walnuts.
Extra-virgin olive oil
Antioxidants—vitamin C, selenium, carotenes, bioflavonoids
Inflammation produces free radicals, those cell-damaging molecules that are formed in response to toxins or natural body processes. The synovium is just as prone to this kind of damage as the skin, eyes, or any other body tissue. Antioxidants protect the body from the effects of free radicals, and are a critical part of an anti-inflammation diet. Research has demonstrated that certain antioxidants may help prevent arthritis, slow its progression and relieve pain.
Spices—ginger and turmeric
Most people don’t realize that spices are a part of nutrition. Like fruits and vegetables, spices come from plant sources, and they can have powerful effects on health. Certain spices seem to have anti-inflammatory effects, and therefore should be considered for arthritis treatment. Among the most promising are ginger and turmeric. Ginger contains chemicals that work similarly to some anti-inflammatory medications, so its effects on arthritis pain are not surprising. However, ginger can also act as a blood thinner, so anyone taking a blood-thinning medication should collaborate with their personal physician when adding foods and beverages seasoned with ginger. To incorporate more ginger into your diet, grate fresh ginger into stir-fries, enjoy ginger tea and bake low-fat ginger muffins.
Turmeric, sometimes called curcumin, is a mustard-yellow spice from Asia. It is the main ingredient in yellow curry. Scientific studies have shown that turmeric may help arthritis by suppressing inflammatory body chemicals. Enjoy chicken curry and healthy recipes that call for this anti-inflammatory seasoning.