We all know the saying ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’. It really is true, says Dr Penny Stanway
Last week, it was revealed that eating the equivalent of four apples a day can dramatically cut your cholesterol levels.
But that’s not the only incredible health boost the fruit can give you – as a new book by former family doctor DR PENNY STANWAY reveals…
 One possible trigger for cramp is a lack of calcium, magnesium, potassium and vitamins B and C, all found in apples. Cider vinegar may also help, as its acidity boosts stomach acids, improving calcium and magnesium absorption.
Action: Mix 2tsp cider vinegar in a glass of water, three times a day. Or mix two 2bsp of vinegar in a cup of warm water, soak a face flannel in this mixture, then put the flannel over the sore muscle and cover with a thick towel.
 The symptoms of asthma – wheezing, coughing and a tight chest – are caused by inflammation and over-sensitivity of the airways. Possible triggers include cold air, exercise, certain foods, infection, weather and allergies.
In a study published in the American Journal Of Respiratory Critical Care Medicine, UK researchers reported that adults who ate at least two apples a week reduced their asthma risk by up to a third. In a separate study, children of mothers who ate apples during pregnancy were found to be significantly less asthma-prone in their first five years.
Apples and their juice appear to have an anti-asthma effect stronger than any other food. This may be due to their high levels of antioxidants — natural disease fighters which have an anti-inflammatory benefit — a 100g apple contains three times the antioxidants of an orange and eight times that of a banana.
Action: An apple’s antioxidant content is contained mainly in its peel, so eat an unpeeled apple once a day.
Wonderstuff: Cider Vinegar soothes stings, hay fever and more
Applying cider vinegar can soothe a wasp sting. The vinegar’s acid converts certain toxins in the venom to less toxic compounds. Dousing with vinegar is also an effective folk remedy for most jellyfish stings as it deactivates venom cells.
Action: Apply cider vinegar to a wasp or jellyfish sting, using a cotton pad.
Risk factors include obesity, too much of the kidney hormone renin, insulin resistance (the stage before diabetes, when the body is less responsive to the hormone), age and genes, although often there is no obvious cause.
Early studies suggest vinegar can lower blood pressure – these include one by Japanese researchers which found giving rats vinegar lowered blood pressure.
The scientists suggested acetic acid in vinegar reduced production of the hormone angiotensin II, which helps to constrict blood vessels.
Vinegar is said to promote weight loss, which lowers blood pressure. It’s said to slow the rise in blood sugar after a meal, which can lead to a rapid drop in sugars and subsequent hunger pangs.
Apples could also help lower cholesterol. Last week’s study — from the U.S. — found women who ate 75g of dried apples (equivalent to four apples) a day for six months saw their levels of artery-clogging LDL cholesterol, fall by a quarter.
Action: Add a dash of cider vinegar to your food.
Apples contain compounds called tannins which, studies suggest, help prevent periodontal (gum) disease. And chewing a crisp apple further boosts gum health, as repeated jaw movement increases the circulation of blood to the gums.
Action: An apple a day.
Apples contain more pectin (the fibre found in fruit) than any other fruit. Pectin is broken down in the gut by ‘good’ bacteria, forming a protective coating for the stomach lining, which soothes and prevents irritants from inflaming the gut.
This breakdown also releases prebiotic compounds, which increase the amount of ‘good’ bowel bacteria (these tackle the bugs that have caused the diarrhoea in the first place). 
Action: If you have diarrhoea, try eating an apple every few hours. Cooking the apple first softens its cellulose, which may be useful for slowing bowel movements.
Hiccups? Drink some cider vinegar
Cider vinegar is a traditional remedy for hiccups, which can be caused by eating too much; low stomach acid slowing the digestion of protein; or fatty, sugary foods slowing the stomach from emptying and encouraging fermentation.
Cider vinegar can restore the acid balance of the stomach and ease this irritating spasm of the diaphragm.
Action: To tackle hiccups, slowly sip 1tsp of cider vinegar in a glass of water.
This condition, where bone density reduces, leaving bones brittle and fragile, is linked to ageing, the menopause, too much or too little exercise, and a deficiency in bone-friendly nutrients such as calcium. However, research increasingly shows inflammation in the body is also a potential cause, and nutrients called flavonoids and other compounds found in apples can reduce this.
A French study in 2005 found that a compound called  phlorizin, found only in apples, prevents bone loss associated with inflammation in rats.
Plant hormones and a mineral called boron, found in apples, can also restore oestrogen levels – low oestrogen is a common cause of osteoporosis. Meanwhile, the pectin boosts stomach acidity which in turn boosts absorption of calcium.
Action: Add apples to your diet from a young age.
Apples are rich in quercetin, a flavanoid which has antihistamine and anti-inflammatory actions. It’s mainly found in their peel, and red apples contain a lot more than green ones.
Meanwhile, some studies have shown cider vinegar can be a remedy for allergic rhinitis or hay fever.
One study involving 24 people in the Fifties found that their urine pH became highly alkaline before an allergic attack. But after drinking cider vinegar, their urine rapidly returned to a normal acid pH and the attack was less severe.
This was attributed to the organic acids and potassium in cider vinegar.
Action: If you’re feeling the symptoms of hay fever, put 1tbsp of cider vinegar into a glass of water and sip the mixture over half an hour. Wait a further half an hour then repeat. Or, add 1tbsp of cider vinegar to foods such as soup.
Low immunity? Eat an apple
One medium size apple contains eight per cent of your daily recommended intake of vitamin C – useful for immunity.
When apple pectin is digested, it is fermented by ‘good’ bacteria, and stimulates production of antibodies and white blood cells, which helps the body fight disease.
Action: Eat an apple a day.
Apples contain small amounts of genistein, a plant oestrogen which latches on to oestrogen receptors in the body’s cells and so balance oestrogen levels.
This can prevent problems associated with too much oestrogen, such as heavy and painful periods.
Action: Drink 2tsp of cider vinegar in a glass of water two to three times a day, or add cider vinegar to your food.

SOURCE: dailymail.co.uk
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