A rose by any other name is still a rose, as Shakespeare says. But, did you know, that an apple is a rose too? Well, in the same way that almonds, apricots, peaches and cherries are all part of the rose family. Or, that eating the whole apple, including the apple peel which contains much of the fruit’s beneficial properties, such as antioxidants and other phytonutrients, is beneficial to human health? This is what Tru-Cape Fruit Marketing, the largest exporter of South African apples and pears, says. Tru-Cape’s Quality Assurance manager, Henk Griessel explains:
According to a November 2016 Australian research report, Translating the Scientific Evidence for Apples and Pears into Health Messages, writers Genevieve James‐Martin, Gemma Williams and Welma Stonehouse found that one small human pilot study and one animal study on apple peel extracts in arthritis were identified. The pilot human study looked at the effect of consuming dried apple peel powder for 12 weeks and the animal study looked at the acute anti‐inflammatory effects of methyl ursolate extracted from apple peels. Both studies found that the apple peel intervention had positive effects on arthritis symptoms, showing improvements in range of motion and pain in humans and a reduction in paw edema in the animal model. No-one doubts that eating fresh fruit and vegetables is an essential part of the balanced diet and an equally important source of dietary fibre. Quercetin, also found in the peel, is currently getting a lot of media attention for its benefits. There is nothing about eating your apple, skin intact, that is hard to swallow. In fact, if you treat your apples and pears as you do with other fresh produce – washed on arrival and stored in the fridge, there are only benefits.
The cardio-vascular advantages of eating apples are already proven but the latest research shines a light on newer areas of medicine which may benefit from eating more apples. These include arthritis ‐ the use of apple peel extracts as a treatment to reduce symptoms; brain health and cognition ‐ the role of polyphenol-rich apple extracts on cognitive function as well as the acute effects of apples on endothelial function, the flexibility of blood vessels. Also worth noting are the chronic effects of apple products on inflammation and oxidative stress, important risk factors for heart disease. Blood lipids ‐ specifically total cholesterol and LDL‐C, gut health and weight management all appear to benefit.
Griessel ends by saying that because apples stay fresh for up to three weeks in the fridge this means fewer visits to the supermarket and less chance of being exposed to Covid-19 while out shopping.
Perhaps the prescription to keep the doctor away nowadays is many apples a day rather than only one.