Articles on apple

10 More Reasons to Love Custard Apple

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Custard apple a.k.a. sitaphal, sharifa or ataphal, is a tropical fruit with worldwide popularity due to its delicious flavour and high nutritional content.An average custard apple usually weighs around 250 g and is of conical or heart shape. It has a green outer covering with bumpy texture. The inner flesh is white and creamy with scattered seeds. They are rich in nutrients, high on calories (about 250) but with a moderate glycemic index.Nutrition facts of 100 g of custard apple:Calories: 100Water: 75 gFat: 0.6 gSugar: 15 gDietary fibre: 3.5 gCarbohydrate: 23.71 gProtein: 1 to 4.3 gIron: 0.7 mgCalcium: 20 mgHealth benefits of custard apple:Boosts immunity: Custard apples are excellent sources of Vitamin C that help in building immunity. They are also great anti-inflammatory agents and help against autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis. One serving of custard apple helps eliminate free radicals in the body, which act as precursors to various infectious diseases.Re-energises: Custard apples provide instant energy upon consumption due to high carbohydrate content. It also fights fatigue and eliminates muscle weakness.Makes the heart healthier: Custard apple has fine balance of sodium and potassium, which helps in controlling blood pressure fluctuations in the body. Its high levels of magnesium relax the muscles of the heart, thereby preventing heart attacks. Niacin and fibre prevents the absorption of cholesterol by the body.A rich iron source: High iron content prevents/cures anaemia.A better digestive system: It is unusually helpful in treating digestion related ailments. It removes toxins from the body and ensures a proper bowel movement. It prevents acidity, ulcer, gastritis and heartburn. An unripe, dried and crushed custard apple can be used to treat diarrhoea and dysentery. The dietary fibre in custard apple helps relieve constipation as well.Anti-cancerous properties: Custard apple contains cancer-preventing compounds like acetogenin and alkaloids, which act against cancer cells without affecting the healthy cells. It is also full of anti-oxidants which further ward off cancer risk.A happier brain: Custard apples are rich in B complex vitamins, which help in fighting depression and stress. Vitamin B6 diet also fights skin problems, sore tongue, convulsions and depression.Excellent source of copper. It is a trace mineral, which helps the body to form haemoglobin. Pregnant women need 1000 micrograms of copper each day for proper development of the foetus. Low levels of copper in the body can lead to premature birth. Consuming custard apple during pregnancy is very healthy.Stronger bones and joints: Magnesium in custard apples balances the water content in the body and rids the joints of acids, reducing symptoms of rheumatism and arthritis. It also contains moderate amount of calcium, which strengthens bones.Boon for the skin and hair: It has good quantities of vitamin A and C, which helps in attaining healthy and glowing hair and skin.An important thing to keep in mind is that although custard apples are a great source of various nutrients they should be consumed in moderation due to high calorie content.In Thailand custard apples and hand grenades have the same name due to their similarity in shapes, whereas, in China they are referred to as Buddha’s head fruit because of its seeming resemblance to the head of Buddha.How to eat custard apple?Ripe custard apples are soft and squishy. Avoid ones that are over ripe because they are a little brownish. In case you end up buying an unripe one, just leave it at room temperature for a few days and it will ripen on its own.Healthy Custard Apple Smoothie RecipePreparation: 5 minIngredients:1/2 ripe custard apple1 cup skimmed milk or low fat yogurt2 tsp lime juiceDirections:Halve the custard apple, remove the seeds and spoon out the fleshPlace the custard apple flesh, milk/curd and lime juice in a blender and blend until smoothChill for 30 minutes, give it a stir and serve

An Apple a Day: To Be Healthy & Fit

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Looks like there might be some truth to the old adage: An apple a day keeps the doctor away. Recently Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease stated that eating apples and drinking apple juice, along with a balanced diet can protect the brain from oxidative stress or age-related memory loss. Apart from being brain healthy, apples are delicious source of fiber (both soluble and insoluble), protect against diseases and improve daily functioning.Weight Loss:  One medium-sized apple provides 5 grams of fiber, equivalent to one bowl of oatmeal. Fiber slows the digestion process & provides the satiety to your brain and helps you moderate your hunger. As a result, you snack lessPrevents Cancer: A study published in American Journal of Epidemiology linked Quercetin found in apple to have an anti-cancer effect. Quercetin also protect from prostate and colon cancer by almost 43%Prevents Infection: Apples contain tannins that reduce oxidative damage and have an anti-biotic effect, helping prevent from urinary tract infection (UTI) and gum diseaseMaximum functioning of lungs: Another piece of good news is that if you eating at least five apples per week then the disease fighting profile of apples lower the risk of respiratory diseaseHealthy Heart: Eating apples reduces the damaging effects of bad (LDL) cholesterol and thereby reduces the risk of heart disease, stroke and even type 2 diabetes as improves insulin sensitivity.Any reason you're still not eating apples?

Do You Peel the Apple Skin?

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
“An apple a day keeps the doctor away” is a saying that we have heard multiple times to ingrain into our minds the benefits of an apple. But do you peel the skin of the apple when you eat it? If you do, then you might be depriving yourself of the apple’s most essential nutrients. Here are some very powerful reasons to never remove the skin again.1. High in fiberApple is a rich source of dietary fiber. A medium apple contains approximately 4.4 gram of fiber and out of which 47% of the fiber is present in the skin. Which means without the skin you are only getting 2.1 grams of fiber OR almost half of the actual content.2. Source of vitamin and mineralsApple is a good source of Vitamin C and Vitamin A, but most of this content lies in the skin. A medium apple with skin packs 8.4 mg of vitamin C and 98 international units (IU) of vitamin A. Without the skin, this amount reduces to 6.4 milligrams of vitamin C and 61 IU of vitamin A.3. Eases breathing problemsThe skin of an apple contains quercetin, which is a kind of flavonoid and helps in proper functioning of the lungs, which in turn eases different breathing problems. It also helps in reducing the release of histamine and other allergic or inflammatory chemicals in the body.4. Control your weightA major chunk of the fiber is present in the skin, so if you eat an apple with the skin, it will keep you fuller for longer and helps you in maintaining your weight. The peel also contains ursolic acid, which is an important compound that fights obesity by increasing muscle mass and good fat in the body. This pushes up calorie burn, thereby lowering obesity risk. It did so at least in mice, according to a 2012 study.5. Keeps cancer at bayAccording to a study at the Cornell University in 2007, the apple skin contains compounds called triterpenoids that either inhibit or kill cancer cells in laboratory cultures. One of the study authors said that these compounds targeted human liver, colon and breast cancer cells.But remember to clean the apple properly before eating. Rub it properly with a soft scrub under running water to remove the coating of wax which may be present on it to act as a preservative. Also, you can use warm water to clean your fruits but be careful about the temperature of the water. Always consume the apple with the skin to derive maximum benefits.

7 Ways to Satisfy Your Apple-Tite

Dr. Sangeeta Malu, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Baked apple fritters or chipsToss some apple slices with olive oil, cinnamon, and a teaspoon of sugar. Bake them in the oven for a few minutes till they reach a crisp, golden perfection. Low on calories, baked apple chips are tasty and keep your palate asking for more.Apple iced teaBeat the heat this sultry summer by adding an interesting twist to your morning cuppa. All you need is a tea bag, strained apple juice, ice, sliced lemon, and a sprig of mint. Lo and behold, you have a refreshing and nutritious thirst-quencher on your hands. Apple crumbleSatiate your sweet tooth with an apple crumble made from stewed apples, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and a small knob of butter. Offer it as a post-lunch dessert and watch the happy smile spread on your family's face.Fruit custardLittle children are like mini tornadoes that need regular nourishment to replenish their high energy levels. Whip up a fruit custard loaded with chunky pieces of apple. It's a super way of making your fussy kid eat his/her fruits without much ado.Apple saladBoredom hits hard and fast when you continue to eat the same thing every day. But a salad, that's something refreshing. Throw in some pieces of apple with sprouts, lettuce, and, cucumber and top it off with a salad dressing.Apple pieBe the hostess with the mostest and throw in an apple pie to impress your guests at your party. A pie is an innovative and healthy dessert idea to experience the fruity goodness of apple. And it's also an all-time favorite!Apple cupcakeThese miniature cakes are simply delish. Have a fuss-free experience as you watch your kids devour them during their school breaks. Cupcakes can be made healthy by using whole wheat, brown sugar, and stewed apples. Delicious and evergreen, the benefits reaped from munching an apple are bountiful. Treat your body to the fruity goodness of apple in different and exciting ways. With an apple by your side, never be low on your health again!

An Apple a Day Keeps Diabetes Away

Dr. Sachin Chittawar, Endocrinologist
Fruits  are a necessary ingredient of our diet. They are rich in essential vitamins , minerals  and give us a gush of antioxidants. The essence of seasonal change is beautifully incorporated in the changing availability of fruits in our market. They are a healing touch to our body, soul, and the persona.Diabetes and Fruits-The diabetic enigma begins with a flurry of suggestions telling us what to  be or not to be eaten?. The soul of the advice gets lost in between  the newly found advising, newly generated anxiety, awareness, and the wrong perceptions. Diabetics are the ones who are being controlled in a remote controlled way by their wives, relatives, and children. Social fabric in India is different from the west, it is being beautifully driven by the sense of belongingness, concern and the real worry about  the coming doom. When a person gets diabetes even the maid of the  house starts taking care of the ailing individual. Extra care is good, but sometimes we are stuck up in between various suggestions and thoughts of our relatives. What to eat and what not to eat?.The three tenets of diabetes care are to restrict carbohydrates to 40-60% , restrict fat to 20%, proteins to 20% and have plenty of dietary fibre. This is like a plate full of chaat with miscellaneous ingredients and  the beauty of chaat is that the taste varies with individual to individual. You can have more of the green chutney or imli ki chutney, you can have more of sev , papdi  or the never ending list of spices. The taste varies with individual and the savory tickles the taste buds of everyone. This is what life is for, it gives us pleasure and self  containment.The treatment of diabetes and advice to a diabetic patient cannot be different. Advice to a  diabetic should incorporate the likes and dislikes of the patient who is receiving it, life will continue even if the patient is diabetic. The ingredients for the chaat personified as life of a diabetic cannot be without choices.Rationalisation of thoughts amongst the diabetics, relatives and friends is required, brakes to be applied when necessary.Fruits in Diabetes – Diabetic needs are not different from a non diabetic individual with an extra requirement of antioxidants, fiber and the balance in the three tenets. Fruits are  a rich source of  the recommended in diabetes.Is there an absolute no for a particular fruit? Myths shroud us and sometimes we are haunted by it. All fruits are good for diabetics, they should have all of them. They should know the fact that fruit sugars are not like the food sugar, it takes time in getting converted to glucose. We  have learnt the fact that if a food stuff  does not lead to a sudden increase in sugars i.e glucose, it is good for diabetics. The glycemic index of fruits is low.Which fruit should be taken?Fruits with the less  glycemic index like apple, papaya, guava, pomegranate are the preferred ones. Chikoo, banana, oranges, grapes, mangoes, litchis are the ones to be taken in moderation. Preference doesn’t mean that the others should never be taken. Balance the fruits in the diet as per season, availability and the three tenets of diabetes. Fruits are the necessary content of a diabetic diet, they reduce the oxidative stress and gives us the elixir of life. An apple a day keeps diabetes away.

Summary: Fad Foods

Ms. Tehzeeb, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Here’s the summary of our Facebook series this month on fad foods with over exaggerated health benefits and minimal to no scientific data to back up said health benefits.Fadfood #1: Apple cider vinegar. Drinking apple cider vinegar straight could be harmful for the tooth enamel and the oesophagus because it is highly acidic! And there is no magic potion you could sip on in the hopes to lose weight.Fadfood #2: Teas which claim to have ‘slimming’ effects. Stop sipping a tea whose taste you loathe only in the hopes that it would magically ‘melt’ your fat off. Fat stores won’t mobilize if your body doesn’t move.Fadfood #3: Hot water with lemon. Jeesh! What an urban myth! In the hot Mumbai weather, the last thing you need is a hot glass of water to start your day with. But you’d do it anyway only because someone used the words ‘fat melting.’‪‎Fad‬ food #4: Artificial sweeteners I know you feel good about yourself and you think you’re being ‘healthy’ by opting for these to go with your coffee and even desserts, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Be real, nothing artificial and fake in your diet or life.Fadfood #5: Fat burning pills. I am confident that after this post, I will receive several messages asking about where said pills can be procured because we love hocus pocus marketing SO much!Fadfood #6: More pills! “It’s a scandal which keys into something that we all would love to have – a simple remedy that frees us of our sins, so to speak. It’s nice to think that it could exist but unfortunately it doesn’t.”-Edzard ErnstFad non-food #7: Machines that claim you don’t have to do anything. You’re sold at the idea that some external movement that the machine does to your tummy will shake up the fat stores inside of you and magically evaporate them. Intelligent indeed.

Dessert Recipes to Be 60 and Sugar Free!

Dr. Priyam Sharma, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Being old and having a sweet tooth is no fun. You have just about everyone advising you against picking up that harmless sweet after a nice meal. But what if we told you that there were guilt-free sugarless options on the dessert recipes that you could proudly dig into?   These desserts with no added sugar may seem like a partial substitute, but they delight just the same.Frozen fruit ice cream Freeze two to three bananas for at least 12 hours and then blitz them in a blender along with frozen berries. You can use all kinds of berries such as strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries. Just remember the more berries you add, the more it becomes like a sorbet but if you want a luscious creamy texture then just add more banana. Scoop out the fruity loveliness and enjoy! Yogurt parfaitProbiotics in yogurt are extremely good for the digestive system. This particular dessert combines the goodness of probiotics along with fruits and fiber. All you need is ¾cup of flavored yogurt, ½ cup of granola (no raisins), and ½ cup of fresh chopped fruits. Now layer each of these ingredients in a parfait glass in the same order. Take a big spoonful and indulge in this heavenly dessert.Baked apple chips When it comes to sweet snacks, baked apple chips are a great option. All you need is a couple of apples and some cinnamon powder. Thinly slice the apples and spread them on a baking tray. Sprinkle some cinnamon and bake for about 45 minutes. Turn them over, add more cinnamon, and bake again. Voila! Healthy and yummy!       Light, sugar-free, and stuffed with nutrition, these desserts are the answer to your prayers especially if you enjoy long, romantic walks to the fridge looking for sweet treats. 

Health Benefits of Apple

Ms. Ashu Gupta, Dietitian/Nutritionist
1. Get whiter, healthier teethAn apple won’t replace your toothbrush, but biting and chewingan apple stimulates the production of saliva in your mouth, reducingtooth decay by lowering the levels of bacteria.Scientists from the American Association for Cancer Research,among others, agree that the consumption of flavonol-richapples could help reduce your risk of developing pancreatic cancer by up to 23per cent. Researchers at Cornell University have identifiedseveral compounds’triterpenoids’in apple peel that have potent anti-growthactivities against cancer cells in the liver, colon and breast. Their earlierresearch found that extracts from whole apples can reduce the number and sizeof mammary tumours in rats. Meanwhile, the National Cancer Institute in theU.S. has recommended a high fibre intake to reduce the risk of colorectalcancer.Women who eat at least one apple a day are 28 percent lesslikely to develop type 2 diabetes than those who don’t eat apples. Apples are loaded with solublefibre, the key to blunting blood sugar swings.The soluble fibre found in apples binds with fats in theintestine, which translates into lower cholesterol levels and a healthier you.Many health problems are associated with being overweight, amongthem heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and sleepapnea. To manage your weight and improve your overall health, doctors recommenda diet rich in fibre. Foods high in fibre will fill you up without costing you too many calories.