By Noell Larsen H.N., M.H. - Oregon

Fall is one of my favorite seasons here in Oregon. At the local farmers market you will find a colorful palette of the region’s fresh organic apples. While it’s hardly arguable that nothing beats the refreshing taste of a crisp apple freshly picked, this is only one facet of my appreciation for the amazing apple and how it tops my charts as being one of the worlds most nutritious foods.

In 1998 the Journal of Physiology and Biochemistry published a study that highlighted the relation of pectin in the diet, it’s ability to lower cholesterol in the liver and its ability to bind and remove cholesterol from the body as it passes through the intestinal tract. At the conclusion of the study it was observed that, “… Serum cholesterol [total amount of cholesterol found in the body] only declined significantly in apple-fed groups. The decrease of cholesterol levels in liver and serum, and its increase in faeces could explain the beneficial effect of including these fibers in the diet to prevent some nowadays very frequent diseases.” Long before this study was published Dr. Christopher recommended the apple for use in the three-day Cleansing program. About the apple’s virtues Dr. Christopher exclaimed, “One of the most effective blood purifiers known is the common apple.”

In 2004 two studies were done, together they further magnified the benefits of the apple. In January 2004 Swiss Medical published a report showing how apple pectin significantly reduced the 137Cs cesium (radioisotope and unstable chemical) uptake in Ukrainian children affected by the Chernobyl nuclear reactor disaster. Results of this study showed a 62% reduction in 137C cesium. In May 2004 Nutrition Journal published a report that said, “Apples are a widely consumed, rich source of phytochemicals, and epidemiological studies have linked the consumption of apples with reduced risk of some cancers, cardiovascular disease, asthma, and diabetes. In the laboratory, apples have been found to have very strong antioxidant activity, inhibit cancer cell proliferation, decrease lipid oxidation, and lower cholesterol. Apples contain a variety of phytochemicals, including quercetin, catechin, phloridzin and chlorogenic acid, all of which are strong antioxidants.”

Way to pack a punch! The apple,  a good source of soluble fiber, controls blood sugar and insulin release, sweeps clean the intestinal tract, helps prevent cancer, asthma, diabetes, heart disease, is capable of removing heavy metals, radioactive particles … and tastes absolutely amazing!

Noell Larsen is a Holistic Nutritionist and Master Herbalist/ Masters of Science graduate of The School of Natural Healing. Together with her husband (a current Medical Student) and as a mother of two children… speaking, writing and tutoring others in health has become a family passion.