apple a day...
Can keep cancer at bay
BY RED JEN FORD
Apples were one of the familiar friends I encountered
when I discovered the fresh local markets on a recent
trip to Portugal. Since California and Portugal share
comparable climate and topography, I wasn’t surprised
to see versions of produce similar to my own farmers’
market back home.
Apples are now arriving in Southern California and
their harvest will continue through December; they fill
stands with a rainbow of varieties from the bright green
and tart granny smiths to the spicy violet-red winesaps
and everything in between these hues.
Their natural cleansing benefits (partially from their
astringency) help shed summer’s indulgences. At approximately 80 calories each, they are a nutrient-dense
source of Vitamin C, soluble fiber, and insoluble fibers
like pectin. Apples also contain unique polyphenols,
these are phytonutrients that help regulate blood sugar
levels and help adjust the body’s blood lipids profiles,
reducing the LDL (the so-called bad cholesterol) and increasing HDL (the beneficial cholesterol). Furthermore,
a number of research studies, summarized in review
articles published in Planta Medica (by C. Gerhauser
in 2008) and Nutrition Journal (by Boyer and Liu in
2004), state that apples lower the risk for diseases ranging from cancer to asthma. While all fruits and veggies
have cancer protective effects due to their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant components, apples have been
shown to protect against lung cancer better than other
fruits and vegetables studied to date.
For all the good apples can do, we must also take
care to purchase organic or sustainably grown unwaxed
apples. Conventionally grown apples are at the top of
the Environmental Working Group’s “Dirty Dozen”
list which denotes a high level of pesticide residues. Be-
cause pesticides and fertilizers can mimic hormones in
the body, the ingestion of conventionally grown fruits
like apples can actually feed some cancers.
Red Jen Ford is a certified holistic health coach, Yoga instructor and
manager of the Westwood Farmers’ Market, located in the Vets’ Garden
Thursdays from Noon to 5:00 P.M. Jen teaches her customers and busy
clients the benefits and simplicity of eating local, sustainably grown food.
Redjenford.com or Westwoodfarmersmarket.com