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Norwalk Daily Voice serves Norwalk & Rowayton

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Eat An Apple A Day. Really.

If we all had nickels for the amount of times during our childhoods when we heard, "An apple a day keeps the doctor away." But now that they're literally falling off the trees in our local orchards and beyond, I thought it would be interesting to explore the truth to that old adage. It turns out, your grandmother was right (of course she was).

We know they're delicious (they're also macintosh, gala, macoun and many, many others), but apples are not only a treat for your mouth, they're also a boost to your body.

One medium-sized apple contains approximately 80 calories, and it also has five grams of fiber, which is essential for healthy digestion. The more fiber you consume, the more easily food travels through your digestive system.

Apples also have pectin (which you'll remember as an ingredient in jams, jellies and jelly beans -- a whole other health and wellness article...). Pectin, present in the apple's skin, is a soluble fiber that's reputed to help prevent cancer by helping to block certain proteins found in the disease. And pectin has also been linked to lowering cholesterol levels, as well as raising "good" cholesterol (HDLs) and lowering "bad" ones (LDLs).

And then there are antioxidants, of which apples contain a profusion. Apples have large amounts of polyphenols and flavonoids, which are types of antioxidants that can help stave off the effects of premature aging. Various oxidants -- or free radicals -- are thought to penetrate bodies and cause aging signs to show up prematurely. These oxidants can be due to stress, sun exposure, pollution, smoking, alcohol consumption and unhealthy foods.

So, listen to your grandmother and eat an apple. And while you're at it, stand up straight.

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