Food of the month - the apple

 In the UK apples are now  in season and there are so many different varieties, each with their own unique flavour. As a food the humble apple has almost endless possibilities. An apple picked from the bowl is the ultimate healthy fast food and are just as much at home in either sweet or savoury dishes. When making vegetable juices apples balance flavours and I use them all the time. Granny Smith's add  lift and sharpness to a carrot juice. Whilst pink lady apples provide a beetroot juice with sweet softness.

From a medicinal point of view apples are noted to be high in fibre and have a substance called pectin in their structure which helps to lower cholesterol. One french study examined the effects of eating 2-3 apples/day for a month on a group of healthy middle aged men and women and HDL (good cholesterol) was noted to rise. By contrast LDL (bad cholesterol) fell  in 80%of the group; falling by 10% in 50% of the group. Interestingly enough the apple/cholesterol effects seemed to have a greater impact on women. With one woman 's cholesterol falling by 30%.

In addition apples are moderately high in salicylates which have pain relieving properties and have also been found to have anti-viral properties. So there maybe something in the old adage - "an apple a day keeps the doctor away".

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