We are all familiar with the famous “an apple a day” slogan…Apples have become so historically popular that they were made the Greek symbol of pleasure and luxury, and even given the title of the tempting “Forbidden Fruit” in biblical translations.
Easy on the digestion, apples contain malic and tartaric acids that inhibit fermentation in the intestines. Their high fiber content adds bulk that aids the digestive process, making elimination natural and comfortable. Apples contain pectin, a soluble fiber that encourages the growth of beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract.
“Apples contain flavonoids, antioxidants that improve immune function and prevent heart disease and some cancers. Green apples act as a liver and gall bladder cleanser and may aid in softening gallstones. Because of their high water content, apples are cooling and moistening and aid in reducing fever. Eating raw apples gives the gums a healthy massage and cleans the teeth. A medium apple, approximately 5 ounces, has only 81 calories and a whopping 3.7 grams of fiber from pectin, a soluble fiber. A medium apple supplies 159 mg of potassium, 3.9 mcg of folic acid, 7.9 mg of vitamin C, and 9.6 mg of calcium.” – sourced from ‘Vegetarians in Paradise’
Good stuff, right?
The apples we see in our grocery stores and brown lunch sacks are not the originals. Apples were first dated back to teeny sour fruits grown wild on trees covering Asia, and were later discovered by Romans in Europe – then cultivated over centuries to become the sweet tasting juicy fruits of today. The exact origin of the apple is still not clear. Regardless, apples have found their way into the heart of American culture and diet. Yes, an apple a day could keep the doctor away. But what can an apple do for your skin?
Well, quite a bit actually…
In addition to the Vitamin C provided by apples to soften, nourish and brighten the skin, apples contain malic acid, which is great for gentle exfoliation. Malic acid is found in many tart fruits such as apples and grapes. It exfoliates by dissolving the cellular glue that holds “dead” flattened cells to the very surface of the skin. This allows these cells to slough off without disrupting any healthy skin underneath. Malic acid is said to be gentler than glycolic, making it a great choice for more sensitive skins. Since regular exfoliation is an important part of an affective home care regime, both apples and malic acid are popular ingredients in botanical skin care.
A note on apple picking: Apples should always be purchased in organic form (even at farmer’s markets) due to the enormously high amount of pesticides used to grow the fruit today. Skin care products using apple extract or large amounts of apple fruit should always be in organic form as well – as the chemicals from pesticides can find their way into your blood stream through your skin’s pores. Some skins are more sensitive to these chemicals than others…so it’s always a good idea to be aware of your skin care products’ ingredient sources!