Phytonutrients from Ambrosia Apples and Why You Need Them
The Health Benefits of Apples
There’s been a lot of buzz lately about phytonutrients and why we should all be getting more of them. Luckily, Ambrosia apples are a great source of phytonutrients.
If you haven’t heard of phytonutrients, they are natural chemicals found in many fruits and vegetables. ‘Phyto’ comes from the greek word for plant and ‘nutrients’ are what provide nourishment for growth. So, the word itself loosely means ‘plant-based nourishment’.
However, phytonutrients are not essential for us to survive. Unlike nutrients such as proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals, we don’t need them to live.
So, why is everyone so crazy about phytonutrients right now? It’s primarily because phytonutrients appear to play a large role in maintaining good health and protecting the body against disease and the aging process.
Phytonutrients have been linked to general disease prevention, improved digestive health, reduction of inflammation, increased cognitive health, and overall longevity.
Ambrosia apples contain several phytonutrients in the form of polyphenols and flavonoids (often celebrated for their antioxidant properties). Specifically, apples contain quercetin which has been linked to disease prevention.
In a recent study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food researchers stated that quercetin was among phytonutrients that “stimulate the expression of endogenous detoxification enzymes and may thereby facilitate the neutralization of otherwise harmful environmental agents.” In other words, it helps to fight off free-radicals in the body that could cause disease.
Other phytonutrients found in Ambrosia apples include catechin, phloridzin, and chlorogenic acid. Like quercetin, these are all strong antioxidants that help the body deal with free-radicals and aid in disease prevention.
In addition to fighting off free-radicals, phytonutrients appear to also play an important role in gut health. Not only do the phytonutrients from apples help maintain a balance in your digestive microbiome, they also facilitate the conversion of certain gut bacteria into additional health-boosting phytonutrients.
Who knew so much was happening on a cellular level for your health every time you enjoyed an Ambrosia apple? Now that you understand phytonutrients and their benefit a bit more, that daily Ambrosia apple can be for so much more than it’s great taste and satisfying crunch.
One more thing to keep in mind – storage of apples does not appear to decrease the presence of phytonutrients however processing does. So, whenever possible, eat your Ambrosia apples raw for maximum phytonutrient benefits.