French herbalist, Maurice Messegue, suggests that if you could only plant one tree in your garden, then it should certainly be an apple tree. Scientific evidence shows that eating just two apples a day may significantly reduce your cholesterol levels – in turn decreasing the risk of cardiovascular disease. More recently, apples have also been shown to reduce the risk of both breast and colon cancer.
Vitamin C and pectin are both present in significant amounts in apples, and it is this combination which makes apples so heart friendly. The pectin is present in the skins of apples, so whether your preference is for cooked or raw apples, you will need to use the skin as well. Another wonderful attribute of pectin is that it binds to heavy metals in the body, such as lead and mercury, and safely transports them out via the stools.
Another detoxifying application of the humble apple is to help treat arthritis or rheumatism. They can also rebalance the digestive system, help with hangovers, and sort out a case of diarrhoea. Apples are one of the best antidotes to rich, greasy, or fatty food – so if you have ever felt like an apple after a greasy plate of chips, now you know why! Grated apple is a common recovery food after illness, particularly intestinal disorders and infections.
Apple juice is said to be beneficial where anaemia is an issue. This is most likely due to the combination of iron, phosphorus and vitamin C – all of which work together to optimise the uptake of iron. You will need to juice around 1kg of apples daily for best results if you are using apple juice to help with iron levels or as a general tonic. Always wash your fruit well if it has been sprayed, since you will want to include the skins – the nutrients are in the highest concentration just beneath the skin.