A is for Apple...and…Antioxidants
Apples contain potent antioxidants which counteract the damaging effects to our cells caused by the process of oxidation. Research indicates that antioxidants help delay the onset of age-related diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, cognitive impairment, Alzheimer’s disease, immune dysfunction, cataracts, and macular degeneration. In addition, apples are an excellent source of fiber, providing approximately four grams of dietary fiber in a medium-sized apple. Soluble and insoluble fiber can help lower your cholesterol. Flavonoids, also prevalent in apples, prevent inflammation and have been shown to lower the risk of heart disease.
You might be surprised to learn that there are more than 7500 varieties of apples around the world. Select apples that have smooth, clean skin without soft or dark spots. Apples should be stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. Tip: After you cut an apple, rub some lemon juice on the slices to keep them from turning brown.
The healthy benefits of apples gave rise to the adage “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.”
Lack of Vitamin D & Cancer
New studies indicate that low levels of vitamin D may influence the development of cancer. A report in the May issue of Annals of Epidemiology states that low vitamin D and calcium levels may disrupt the communication between healthy cells, allowing more aggressive cancer cells to take over.
Blood Pressure Pills and Coronary Heart Disease
According to a study published on the website of the British Medical Journal in May 2009, researchers found that blood pressure-lowering drugs reduced the number of fatal and non-fatal heart attacks by 25 percent and strokes by about 33 percent. The report states that “the preventive effect of lowering blood pressure is substantial.”
Pneumonia Vaccine Prevents Swine Flu Deaths
Many of the serious consequences of swine flu are caused by the presence of pneumonia. According to a recent article in the Los Angeles Times, the use of the common pneumonia vaccine has the “potential to prevent an estimated one-third of pneumonia deaths linked to swine flu.” In early June, the CDC expanded its recommendations on who should get the pneumonia vaccine. In addition to adults 65 and older or those with chronic illnesses, it now includes people between the ages of 19 and 64 who are smokers or have asthma.