The following was given with permission to GalTime by Kathy Freston, author of the book The Lean: A Revolutionary (and Simple!) 30-Day Plan for Healthy, Lasting Weight Loss.
Apples are so common you've probably forgotten how absolutely delicious they are, so pure and sweet and crunchy. There is something clean about an apple, so elementally uncomplicated and straightforward.
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I always buy a big bag of apples once a week at the farmers' market and keep them on my kitchen counter as a centerpiece. Nice to be able to munch on the centerpiece, don't you think? I keep them there as a reminder to dig in, and also as a counterweight should I get itchy for a sweet snack. If I'm rooting around for something to eat, I'll grab an apple while I'm looking, and usually by the time I'm finished eating it, my hunger has been sidelined.
We've all the heard the old adage "An apple a day keeps the doctor away." But there is new evidence that this single daily apple has significant, measurable benefits. A major review published in 2008 out of the German Cancer Research Center found that indeed, compared with those who eat less than an apple a day, those who eat one or more had less risk of oral cancer, cancer of the voice box, breast cancer, and colon, kidney, and ovarian cancer as well.
This makes sense given new research from Cornell University showing that apple peels had potent antioxidant and growth-blocking effects on human breast cancer cells examined in a petri dish, and the higher the apple concentration, the fewer the cancer cells. And apples seem to work best against estrogen-receptor-negative breast cancer, which is much harder to treat than the receptor-positive kind.
How do apples do what they do?
There are three stages of tumor formation. Carcinogens cause the initial DNA mutations (the initiation stage), and then oxidation, inflammation, and hormones cause it to grow (the promotion stage); finally, metastasis occurs, in which the cancer spreads throughout the body. Which steps have apples been found to block? All of them. Apples not only have antimutagenic, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory effects, but they may even enhance our immune systems to help clear out any budding tumors before they get their start.
But in addition to boosting your immune system, that apple has other benefits that can help you lose weight.
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Surprised? Here we go, back to fiber.
Most Americans don't get enough fiber each day to meet their nutritional requirements. It's recommended that women get at least 25 grams of fiber per day on a 2,000-calorie diet, or to be more precise, 14 grams of fiber per 1,000 calories consumed.