Keep the doctor away

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By Briana Hayes
Staff Writer

Pumpkin may be the fruit of the fall, appearing in just about anything edible, but that does not mean that we should forget about an old classic— the apple.

Whether you find yourself drinking warm apple cider, baking apple pie, or just simply biting into a crisp apple, ’tis the season for apples and time for you to reap all of its benefits.

From having a bad reputation in fairy tales to being considered a boring fruit, apples may not be the most sought-after fruit. This may also be because they have been made so readily available throughout the whole year.

However, autumn is when apples can be picked fresh from the tree and usually when they taste best. In addition, with the large variety of apples, and the number of recipes you can conjure up using them, it is highly unlikely you will get bored.

Ranging from Golden Delicious to Honey Crisp to Macintosh, the varieties are endless and apples can be harvested at orchards all over New England. By picking your own fruit you can actually increase the benefits you receive from eating it.

The fresher the fruit is from the tree, the more nutrients it contains. Once a fruit is harvested, its water content absorbs its store of water-soluble vitamins, including vitamin C and folate.

In addition, by harvesting your own fruit you avoid artifical colors. Fruit distributors will add artificial colors to make fruit more appealing to consumers. These chemicals are correlated with health issues such as lung tumors.

However, if you don’t have time to go and pick your own apples, there are still multiple benefits of consuming apples. 

First off apples are high in antioxidants. Antioxidants are disease-fighting compounds. They may help prevent and repair oxidation damage that occurs during cell activity in the body.

Apples are also full of fiber, specifically pectin. An average-sized apple contains about four grams of fiber. Pectin itself has a long list of health benefits, but fiber in general allows for a healthy digestive system.

In addition, fiber can help reduce the occurrence of diabetes in individuals. This is because fiber allows for the control of blood sugar swings.

It is believed that teeth can help distinguish your overall health because they display a lot about your diet.

A diet that consists of apples can contribute to healthy teeth through the act of producing saliva. The stimulation of saliva reduces tooth decay by lowering levels of bacteria.

Apples also have an effect on the cardiovascular system, which encompasses the heart and blood vessels. The soluble fiber found in apples play a large role in this. The fiber binds with fats in the intestines and lowers cholesterol, which has be known to cause heart disease.

This is because the plaque that has the ability to form in arteries tends to be high in cholesterol. In addition, the phenolic compound found in the skins of apples prevents cholesterol from solidifying on the walls of the arteries.

Finally, apples have the ability to boost your immune system. Although green apples are popular for their sour taste, red apples actually have a stronger tendency to fortify your immune system.

This is because they contain an antioxidant called quercetin, which can increase the functionality of your immune system. Quercetin is unique because it works specifically when someone is stressed out, which college students tend to be.

Although apples are nothing new, they are nothing to scoff at. The health benefits can go on forever and their ability to fit into any recipe will enhance any seasonal dish. An apple a day truly can keep the doctor away.