Tuesday, December 20, 2011


This is one photo I took some years back but have a special fondness for to this day.   It may be because I love red apples.  I used to buy them from Binondo's fruit vendors on Salazar Street.  Here in Bohol, the large supermarkets in BQ Mall and Island City Mall carry red apples.

Experts claim that if apples are red, it's because of their anthocyanins, which are largely restricted to the skin. When an apple is more uniformly red in color, or when its red color is deeper in hue, it's because there are more anthocyanins. In terms of catechin polyphenols, epicatechin is the primary nutrient found in apples. The flavonoid phloridzin accounts for 98% of the flavonoids found in the apple seeds. 

The total polyphenol contents of apples range from about 1-7 grams/kilogram of fresh pulp, but this ratio gets much higher in the skin, underscoring the special value of apple skins for deriving optimal polyphenol benefits from this fruit. In fact, in animal studies, there is a very commonly used standardized apple extract called standardized apple peel polyphenol extract, or APPE.

Since most of the polyphenols in apples function as antioxidants, it's not surprising to see so many health benefit studies focusing on the antioxidant benefits from apple. 

Particularly strong is the ability of apples to decrease oxidation of cell membrane fats. This benefit is especially important in our cardiovascular system since oxidation of fat (called lipid peroxidation) in the membranes of cells that line our blood vessels is a primary risk factor for clogging of the arteries (atherosclerosis) and other cardiovascular problems. 

Apples' strong antioxidant benefits are also related to their ability to lower risk of asthma in numerous studies, and their ability to lower risk of lung cancer. In addition to their unusual polyphenol composition, apples also provides us with about 8 milligrams of vitamin C. While that amount is not a lot, it's still important, especially since the recycling of vitamin C in our body depends on the presence of flavonoids and apples do an amazing job of providing us with those flavonoids.

Although some preliminary results show apple benefits for several different cancer types (especially colon cancer and breast cancer), it's the area of lung cancer benefits that stand out in the apple research. There are numerous studies involving vegetable/fruit intake and risk of lung cancer. The number of subjects in these studies numbers into the high hundreds of thousands. 

Although many research studies show an impressive ability of overall fruit and/or vegetable intake to lower lung cancer risk, very few individual fruits show up as protective against lung cancer. Except apples! It's really quite remarkable how apples have been one of the few fruits to demonstrate this unique relationship with lung cancer risk reduction. (Interestingly, this same phenomenon has to some extent also been present in research on asthma).

Researchers aren't certain why apples are so closely associated with reduction of lung cancer risk. Their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits are definitely involved here, but they don't fully explain why apples are such a standout in this health benefit area. We look forward to future research that will help shed light on this unique capacity in apples.

This may be good news for heavy smokers unable to kick the habit.  Perhaps, eating a red apple a day may prevent them from developing serious diseases caused by smoking.  I smoked for many years and able to quit for good about 20 years ago.  I'd like to believe that regularly eating red apples helped rehabilitate my lungs.

Read more on other health benefits of apples here.

Now, for something completely different: It's raining apples, hallelujah!

More than 100 apples mysteriously rained down upon a small British town on Monday night, last week. The still-unexplained apple shower left 20 yards of city streets and car windshields covered in the cascading fruit just after the daily rush hour.
The news immediately brought up comparisons to biblical tales of raining frogs and whether such reported freaks of nature actually occurred. In this instance, no one has officially confirmed when, how or if the apple storm truly took place as described.
However, Jim Dale, senior meteorologist from the British Weather Services, told the London Telegraph: "The weather we have at the moment is very volatile and we probably have more to come. Essentially these events are caused when a vortex of air, kind of like a mini tornado, lifts things off the ground rising up into the atmosphere until the air around it causes them to fall to earth again."
Dr Lisa Jardine-Wright, a physicist at the Cavendish Laboratory, based at Cambridge University, told the BBC, "Cars and houses have been swept up by tornadoes, so apples are well within the realms of possibility. A tornado which has swept through an orchard will be strong enough to 'suck up' small objects like a vacuum [cleaner]. These small objects would then be deposited back to earth as 'rain' when the whirlwind loses its energy."
Nevertheless, witnesses report that the weather in Coundon in Coventry was reported to be stable and calm at the time of the alleged apple shower. Coventry residents have offered several competing explanations for the event, including a passing plane, roving teenage pranksters--and, yes, witches.

Photo credit: http://iamcider.blogspot.com/
And since it's the holiday season, back in New York at this time of the year, my friends and I would drive out to Connecticut and head on over to an apple orchard.  For like 25 dollars, you can fill it with apples that you pick from a tree. The scent of these apples would fill up the apartment.  Neighbors and friends who stopped by were invited to take some home with them.  And the nicest thing about it all, is that one or two friends would stop by on Christmas day to bring me an apple pie!

Bohol may not have apple trees that bear the red apple variety, but you can buy red apples at the large groceries in Tagbilaran City.  And as for the apple pies, C.U. Deli & Resto has them.

Apple pie a la mode from C.U. Resto & Deli

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I very much appreciate my articles and photos appearing on fellow bloggers' sites, popular broadsheets, and local broadcast news segments, but I would appreciate even more a request for permission first.
Thank you!


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