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Apple, Malus domestica / Rosaceae
Benefits for the health
Apple
The apple has a long history in Europe, where it has always been related to good health, particularly for its reputation in preventing dental diseases.

The content in fibre, mainly pectin, is considered beneficial for the gastrointestinal functions, and at the same time it helps to balance the levels of sugar in the blood and the cholesterol.

More recently, it has been stated that apples contain high levels of some compounds that act as antioxidants, that provide protection against some cardiovascular diseases and cancer. These compounds, known as phytochemicals, include quercitin, ellagic acid and cafeic acid.

Apples have a high water content and supply mineral salts like potassium, phosphorus, calcium and iron, along with vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, C and E, folic and nicotinic acid. The nicotinic acid is also known as niacin (vitamin B3).

The apples have low content of protein, fat and sodium. The phosphorus is also important for health; its main source is the milk, although its content in the fruit is not very high. Three apples a day provide the necessary provision of vitamin C to the body.
Popular tradition
There is a popular saying in English: ‘An Apple a day keeps the doctor away". It is an example to show how rooted it is in the popular culture the idea that apples are very healthy and that they help to prevent many disorders and diseases; its therapeutic and nutritional value is well recognized.

The apple is rich in mineral salts like potassium, phosphorus, calcium and iron; in vitamins A, B, C, E, niacin and sugars, mainly fructose and glucose. Its water content is also significant. The apple composition makes it one of the most complete fruits from the nutritional point of view. On the other hand, its low content in proteins and fats makes it suitable for people who wish to slim.

It is widely known in general culture that apples help in digestion, activating the secretion of the gastric juice. They are good regulators of the alimentary canal, they stimulate the kidneys, they ease diseases such as drop, arthritis and rheumatism. They are also recommended to fight hypertension and they reduce cholesterol, as well. Their phosphorus content helps to fortify the nervous system.

Popular culture also states that apples in fasting are powerful natural purifiers. On the other hand, if they are consumed as table dessert, in bites and preferably without peeling them, they clean the teeth and fortify the gums, apart from fighting bad breath.

Since they have a high water content, apples relieve thirst and help to preserve the water of the body cells; therefore, they help to keep a hydrated and healthy skin.
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