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Monday, November 07, 2005 

Apples just might be nature's perfect food

By Suzanne Havala Hobbs, Charlotte Observer.

We need more reminders about how great apples really are.

High in fiber. A medium apple contains about 4 grams of fiber -- a good-sized dose, part soluble and part insoluble. Soluble fiber, such as the pectin in apples, helps lower blood cholesterol levels and control blood sugar levels. Insoluble fiber is the roughage you need to help prevent constipation, hemorrhoids and diverticulosis.

Low in cholesterol and saturated fat. In fact, apples contain none. That's important for all of us, particularly for anyone at high risk for coronary disease.

Low in sodium. Again, nada. Apples are an ideal snack for those who need to watch their sodium and salt intakes.

A good fluid source. Apples are like nature's own juice box. One medium apple contains a half cup of water.

Apples are also a source of potassium and health-supporting phytochemicals that may help protect against heart disease and some forms of cancer.

She does have one word of caution, however:
If I've got you interested in eating apples now, great. I'd be remiss, though, if I didn't point out one important caveat: Apples are among the six most pesticide-prone fruits and vegetables, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data.
Her advice? Buy Organic.