TechyGran is a veteran vegan who enjoys passing along healthy, tasty recipes.
The Apple: A Top Pick Fruit for Healing Almost Any Illness
An Apple Day?
As we strolled along the dike after a family weekend of eating too much of everything (particularly the verboten foods on my vegan list) I complained about discomfort. My brother-in-law said, "I read somewhere that eating nothing but apples for a day or two is a way to balance out your system and do an easy cleanse." Hmmm. Seems that I remembered something about that too. A client of long-ago in job-land had told me how she had overcome an impending full-scale gall bladder attack by spending two days of eating nothing but organic apples. At the time I had thought that it sounded a little too easy... but what if...??
Gallbladder Detox Apple Smoothie
The Apple Day Cleanse
There are quite a few variations of what I think of as the Apple Day Cleanse, or detox, on the Internet. I am most attracted to what my fave eHealth guy, Dr. Ben Kim, has to write. He is known for his careful research and balance set perfectly somewhere on the 'health/medical' continuum between alternative and conventional medical protocol. This is what he suggests:
- If you are having any digestive 'issues' or just want to get back on to eating healthier than you have (as is the case after my weekend diversion) the 'apple cleanse' is a gentle way to go. You won't have to feel ravenously hungry because you can chomp on a satisfying, crunchy, juicy apple when the pangs hit. You can feast on all kinds of raw / fresh apples in different forms (whole apples, of course, juiced, unfiltered raw apple cider, unfiltered apple cider vinegar, raw apple sauce) for a day or several days. Dr. Kim suggests that at the end of each day you eat your regular supper/dinner (depends where you're from) but being sure to include steamed vegetables (mostly leafy greens).
- Cautions: (1) if you have high blood pressure issues, or problems with your sugar-regulating, consult your health professional. Dr. Kim suggests you might want to eat other non-sweet items instead of apples such as tomatoes, cucumbers, romaine, celery. (2) Use only organic apples and eat/juice the skins after washing-- apples are among the most heavily sprayed fruits (read: poison) and organic certification is well worth the extra cost. (right under the skin is the precious antioxidant quercetin) (3) Cut out the cores with the seeds and dispose. The seeds contain a cyanide compound. It probably won't kill you, but why take the risk?
- You can eat lettuce and celery and other raw greens along with the apples-- no food combining problems with greens and fruits like apples. The greens will likely also provide you with some extra minerals.
- Take any supplements or 'green' powders with your evening meal
- If you are hungry later in the evening, feel free to chomp an apple
This is an easy cleanse in that if your body says you need extra calories, you just reach for an apple or have some fresh pressed juice (or a smoothie, etc.: see Apple Day recipes farther down in this hub). Dr. Kim states that the detoxification will not be so abrasive that you will have to stay home from work or miss out on other scheduled activities. You will, likely, have a balanced sense of wellbeing and you may drop some weight (bloat). This will give your digestive system a rest and recharge. You may also see some skin conditions heal and have a burst of renewed energy.
Some people ask: "What if I am allergic to apples?" It appears that allergy to the apple is pretty rare, but there are a relatively few people who are allergic to birch pollen that often collects on apples whose trees are in proximity to birch trees. If that is you, then you might want to try something like the salad-y substitutions mentioned above for people with high blood sugar issues: cucumbers, tomatoes, celery and various greens.
Oh yes, and you will likely sleep better as well. Just saying (from personal experience).
Okay-- How About 3 Apples a Day instead of the Whole Day of Apples?
Juicing Apples with a Hurom Slow Juicer
Post-Workout Apple Smoothie
Making Raw Apple Sauce
Ways to Eat an Apple
Just Munch It:
- Got good chompers? Just bite in and go. The Macoun variety (sometimes pronounced MacCowan) has the thinnest skin which makes it a popular easy-to-eat apple.
- Segment and core it-- keep the skin on though (remember, that's where the antioxidants live) and eat individual segments
- Make an apple sandwich/wrap with some delicious lettuce (romaine?), spinach, kale, etc. and your segments (above) wrapped inside
- Other suggested munchers: Fuji, Pink Lady, Gala, Golden Delicious, old-fashioned MacIntosh, Granny Smith-- what's your favourite muncher?
- Wash and core and segment. Put pieces through your juicer or into a blender. If using a blender, strain the juice through mesh (like cheesecloth, a nut-milk bag or a paint strainer) This is a great way to get a hit of antioxidants and Vitamin C first thing in the morning.
- In Penni Shelton's book, Raw Food Cleanse, she has a recipe for "Apple Rosemary Infusion" that involves juicing 10 apples and then combining the apple juice with 1/2 C. of hot water in which a large sprig of rosemary has been steeped for a minute or two (with lid on). The rosemary sprig is discarded/composted. This can be served over ice. Rosemary also contains antioxidants that are beneficial to the brain, protecting from Alzheimer's and Lou Gehrig's disease.
- Personal current fave variety for juicing: Braeburn-- quite firm and doesn't mush up in my juicer
- I personally adore smoothies of all kinds, but particularly love apple smoothies (just greens, maybe a little cinnamon or cardomom, maybe some apple cider vinegar, apples and water)-- go here to find a simple Apple smoothie recipe that doesn't contain sweeteners, other fruits, dairy, etc.--> Apple Cider Green Smoothie (when I made it today I added 2 T. of Apple Cider Vinegar with the "mother" still in it and a little Stevia leaf as a sweetener)
Homemade Apple Sauce (Yum)
Raw and Sauce-y
- Wash, core, cut up your apple and run it up in your high-speed blender until it is sauce-y-- you can add a little raw apple juice (if your apples are too dry) but that is unlikely. You can also add in a little cinnamon and maybe stevia, if you are craving sweetness-- but it is good if you can just consume the apples, as much as possible, by themselves perhaps with light greens or water. If it is too sweet, or you want extra enzyme action, toss in a shot of raw Apple Cider Vinegar.
- Suggested Great Sauce Apples: Transparents, Summer Rambo (tart), Rubinette (cross between Golden Delicious and Cox's Orange Pippin), Northern Spy, Nittany, MacIntosh, Gravenstein, Fuji
Apple Cider and Apple Cider Vinegar
- Apple Cider generally refers to a non-alcoholic apple beverage that is 'pressed' and contains the raw, unfiltered apple suspended in the juice. If it is fermented, a natural process would be considered more healthful The "apple juice" that you make in your high speed blender and don't filter could be considered a form of apple cider. The simple apple smoothie could be considered a natural apple cider.
- Undistilled Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) derived from organic apple cider is produced by powerful natural enzymes that are essential to digest and metabolize food, disease cells, and fat cells. Other body functions are accelerated. You experience more energy through the resulting purification process. Each day I have a couple of tablespoons of ACV in a glass of filtered water to start the day. During the Apple Day I just add the ACV to my juices and smoothies to 'up the ante'.
I have an old copy of Jethro Kloss's 'herbal' Back to Eden that addresses the benefits of using Apple Tree Bark on page 200:
- "Botanical name: Pyrus malus Medicinal Properties:Bark: Tonic, febrifuge. Tea made from apple bark is an old-fashioned remedy, which is excellent in intermittent fever, biliousness, and for gravel in the bladder, to induce perspiration, good for suppressed menstruation, digestion, nausea, vomiting, low fever, liver, spleen, kidneys, bladder, griping in bowels, dysentery, boils, insect stings, mad dog bites, toothache."
Get Thee To An Organic Apple Orchard
Goodbye Brain Fog and More
Some of the most exciting news about the ordinary raw (organic) apple involves the potential for the regeneration of brain cells that would prevent the decline of cognitive performance in the elderly. Studies are still in progress, but it would appear that upping the consumption of organic apples (perhaps through juicing and apple tinctures if the elderly person has poor chewing capabilities) will go about increasing essential brain chemicals that not only prevent some forms of dementia, but will also alleviate and repair oxidative damage and cognitive decline in the brains of the elderly. ~ Journal of Alzheimer's Disease 9 (3): 287–291.
An Apple A Day Keeps The Doctor Away...Really
Apples are an amazingly healthy fruit. They are fat-free, cholesterol-free, and sodium-free for anyone on a restricted diet.
But even greater than what they DON'T have is what they do have:
- apples are full of a magical fiber called a soluble fiber called PECTIN (yes, the stuff that makes jam, jammy and fruit jelly, gel)
- pectin is a general intestinal regulator and used to be a major part of many anti-diarrheal formulations (now it is often replaced by loperamide hydrochloride, a synthetic opioid that acts on the intestinal muscles to keep substances for a greater time in the gut)
- pectin binds with bile acids to lower blood cholesterol
- pectin from consuming organic, raw apples (not pectin in supplements) has undisputed protective qualities against colo-rectal cancer, diverticular disease, and other digestive disorders and ailments in the digestive system
Raw Apples and Antioxidants
Although apples don't have as many vitamins and minerals as some other fruits and vegetables, they are very high in the polyphenol compounds called "antioxidants". Antioxidants have gotten a lot of press in recent years as (it would seem) the "magic bullet" for the Boomer set. Millions of gallons of fruity/berry drinks have been marketed based on their real (or supposed) antioxidant properties. The truth is that raw, unprocessed apples have as much or more antioxidant activity than the various processed and supplemented 'health drinks' (many of which are sold through multi-level marketing companies).
- The antioxidants in apples, such as the flavonoid, quercetin , are recognized as highly likely to reduce the risk of lung and breast cancer. Strokes and gall bladder disease are also knocked off the list by quercetin, other polyphenols and pectin
Apples are a gift from our Creator... with all the accompanying health benefits you would expect. After I completed just one day eating apples and drinking apple smoothies I felt a great sense of inner balance and wellness. I wish the same for you!
Cynthia Zirkwitz (author) from Vancouver Island, Canada on July 18, 2016:
Hi Graham, thank you for your kind comments, and yes, there are a lot of wonderful benefits to be had from eating this humble fruit each day! Good luck with that! (I need to take my own advice).
Graham Lee from Lancashire. England. on July 18, 2016:
Hi Cynthia. A tip top hub as usual. Greatly informative and touching so many bases. I shall make an effort in future to try and eat an apple a day, as you know the old saying goes; An apple a day keeps the doctor away.
Cynthia Zirkwitz (author) from Vancouver Island, Canada on July 18, 2016:
Dear dear Besarien, thanks for dropping in on this neglected-- but important, I'm think-- post. I appreciate your comments. We are on the same page. God bless you, Cynthia
Besarien from South Florida on July 17, 2016:
Hi techygran! Great hub! I'm a big fan of gentle cleanse. I'm so glad you brought up using organic apples and mentioned all the pesticides sprayed on the non-organically grown ones. Big agriculture puts the vile witch in Snow White to shame. So sad what happens to good food that could be keeping the whole planet healthy and well-fed.
Cynthia Zirkwitz (author) from Vancouver Island, Canada on June 08, 2012:
RTalloni, glad you enjoy/ed! Thank you for your comments!
RTalloni on June 07, 2012:
Good stuff--both apples and your hub with info on them. Thanks!
Cynthia Zirkwitz (author) from Vancouver Island, Canada on January 25, 2012:
True, Sunshine! There are some other factors involved in keeping the doctor at bay, but the principle of eating a raw, fresh piece of fruit-- like an apple-- everyday is certainly a good start! Thanks for your comments!
Linda Bilyeu from Orlando, FL on January 25, 2012:
I'm a believer in "an apple a day keeps the doctor away" even if it doesn't always work! :)
Cynthia Zirkwitz (author) from Vancouver Island, Canada on October 18, 2011:
thanks Clara Mae! Here's to your good health always!
Clara Mae on September 29, 2011:
That was news to me about apples helping one's mental capabilities. I do love drinking fresh apple juice in the morning. Good report!
Cynthia Zirkwitz (author) from Vancouver Island, Canada on October 17, 2010:
Hi Mary-- good for you for going the extra stretch to eat apples... as for the macoun, it comes from back East-- I'm still looking locally to see if we get it in here at all, or maybe something close to it. Thanks for your kind words. ~Cynthia
Mary Dicerni on October 17, 2010:
I love apples, but as I age, I cannot chew the skin. I have been washing them, peeling, and then cooking the skin and processing it so I can eat it. Where do you find the macoun apples ? Wonderful info. thank you.
Cynthia Zirkwitz (author) from Vancouver Island, Canada on October 13, 2010:
Hey Alekhouse! Apples are such a gentle and pleasant cleanse that I also wonder why I don't remember to do this the 2 or 3 times a year that the detox gurus recommend... thanks for reading and commenting-- high praise!
Nancy Hinchliff from Essex Junction, Vermont on October 13, 2010:
Good hub. I have always used apples as a cleansing thing. But it's been a while. Thanks for reminding me.