Will an apple a day keep the doctor away?

Apples specifically help improve the functioning of the bacteria living inside of our large intestine, and early studies show that apples change the metabolism within the digestive tract, and change the balance of bacteria, which leads to improved health by maximizing nutrient uptake and eliminating harmful bacteria and toxins.

There is overwhelming evidence that one-third of all cancer cases and half the incidences of cardiovascular disease and hypertension can be attributed to diet. Because apples are high in potassium, a mineral that helps control blood pressure, they can help reduce the risk of stroke.In 2004, USDA scientists investigated over 100 foods to measure their antioxidant concentration per serving size. Red Delicious and Granny Smith ranked 12th and 13th respectively. Antioxidants are a disease-fighting compound.

Eating a whole apple (yes, that's the pips, peel and core) is healthier for you than say apple puree and apple juice. Not only does it fill you up better but gives more 'food satisfaction' (it's all that chewing!). At around 52 calories, eating a medium sized apple before a meal helps to manage hunger pangs and calorie intake. Women who eat at least one apple a day are 28 per cent less likely to develop type two diabetes than those who don't eat apples.

Apples contain some soluble fibre, apple pectins, the key to blunting blood sugar swings and helping in the digestive process. However, research suggests that it's the interaction of pectins with other photonutrients in apples that has been linked to lower levels of LDL, or "bad cholesterol". That's because it blocks absorption of cholesterol, according to WebMD, helping the body to use it rather than store it.

Enjoy the British Harvest at Apple Affair 3 and 4 October 2015. Bring your own apples for identification by the experts.

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Apples from West Dean Gardens orchards
The orchards at West Dean Gardens
West Dean Gardens grows over 100 varieties of apples, many heritage
The orchards in the Walled Garden at West Dean