A good diet and smooth digestion processes are key in Traditional Chinese Medicine. All foods hold a certain temperature, whether cold, cool, warm, or hot. Too much or too little balance can lead to deficiencies in the body, causing issues with qi (energy) and leading to illness. It is suggested that apples, a “neutral” fruit because of its sweet and dry (yin) nature, have many benefits for the body.
Why the Skin is the Best Part of the Apple
Many fruits and vegetables contain phytochemicals, a natural chemical in plants that helps provide color, flavor, and texture. The phytochemicals in an apple are on the peel, where most of the antioxidants of the fruit are located. According to the Supreme Science Qigoing Center, there are 385 phytochemicals in one apple. This is important for the health of the immune system, as phytochemicals dispel serious disease, especially cancer of the lung and colon.
However, where the apples are grown, stored, and processed can vary in the number of phytochemicals. These properties change from season to season and year to year. Apples grown in sunlight often have more phytochemicals than those grown in the shade. Nonetheless, phytochemicals carry anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties that protect the body. They are found on and underneath the peel of the apple.
The Apple’s Role in TCM
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, different apple colors represent different parts of the body. Red apples protect the heart and vessel. It also reduces the content of lipids as well. Green apples are probably the most beneficial. Although representing the liver, they are said to detoxify the inner body, promote teeth and bones growth, and help fight depression. Yellow apples help protect eyesight.
In addition, apples are capable of clearing the five major organs and meridian channels to balance qi. During fall and winter seasons, when the body is in yin excess, apples can eliminate the heat that causes it to become dehydrated. In turn, the fruit will also help the lungs recover from cough and cold. Chinese medicine also suggests that due to lack of food and vitamin imbalances, apples can help reduce morning sickness.
Additionally, doctors also mention the use of apples for:
slowing the aging process that can cause diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease (heart disease is lowered by half if at least 1-2 apples are consumed daily)
lowering cholesterol (the antioxidant, quercetin, can inhibit LDL (the bad cholesterol) from lining the bloodstream)
normalizing bowel movements (apples contain a lot of water, which can help flush out the system)
Apples Help Dispel Alcohol Consumption
Alcohol is known to affect the stomach and spleen, the two most important organs in balancing qi. According to Chinese medicine, a little red wine during the winter can clear blood vessels, reduce blood pressure, and balance digestion issues. After the holiday parties, enjoy an apple as well. The apple will dispel effects of the alcohol and its toxins, causing less injury to the liver.
In fact, apples, oranges, mandarins, and watermelon are said to be excellent in juice form. These fruits, especially watermelon, can dispel alcohol retention in the body. This is what leads to drunkenness. With at least two of the aforementioned fruits mixed together, the body can detoxify and also reduce damage to brain cells as well.
Generally, a diet rich in fruits and vegetables are best for optimal health. Apples are one of the best fruits to eat, in part to the phytochemicals it carries. The phytochemicals can help ward off serious diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and stroke. One to three apples consumed daily will keep the body healthy.
Some Foods Which Can Lower Your Cholesterol
Following is a list of foods that can lower your cholesterol naturally.
Several berries like cranberries and strawberries are very rich in antioxidants which help in reducing the heart disease.
A recent research in Netherlands has amply shown that presence of phytochemicals in apples have good potential to reduce the risk of stroke or heart disease to 50 %. Eating two apples or 14 ounces of apple juice each day is beneficial.
The presence of protein, fiber and many other essential compounds in lentils, legumes and beans can help in reducing the cholesterol, improvement of blood-vessel function and any blood clotting. They are also a rich source of folate which helps in keeping the homocysteine levels (responsible for heart disease) in control. Just one serving of legumes/ dried beans each day can help in reducing cholesterol by about 15 %.
Eating half raw onion each day can raise the good cholesterol (HDL) by about 30 %.
Groundnuts are rich in vitamin E (a powerful antioxidant) which significantly reduces any risk of cancer and cardiovascular diseases.
Groundnuts also have high amounts of bioflavonoid resveratrol which improves the flow of blood flow to brain by about 20 %, thus reducing any risk of brain stroke. Similarly, by including groundnuts in your diet, you can reduce the cholesterol by about 15 %.
Many green and leafy vegetables like fenugreek, broccoli and spinach have large amount of magnesium, antioxidants, calcium and iron which protects the heart from high LDL cholesterol.
Oats contain large amounts of beta-glucans ( a soluble fiber). Consuming about a cup of well cooked oatmeal each day can decrease the LDL cholesterol levels.
Walnuts contain good amounts of omega 3 fatty acids which help in reducing bad cholesterol (LDL cholesterol) and helps in preventing the formation of blood clots. Consumption of walnuts can reduce your cholesterol levels by 14 % and LDL cholesterol levels by about 17 %.
Among all the cooking oils, olive oil has large amounts (about 70 %) of monounsaturated fats and antioxidants which assist in lowering the LDL cholesterol levels without causing any change in the HDL cholesterol levels.
Eating about 66 gms of pistachios (in-shell), can greatly reduce the LDL cholesterol by about 8 % and the triglycerides by about 12 % as per the study conducted by Archive of Internal Medicine in May 2010.
Serpertine, terminalia arjuna, sida cordifolia, green tea and digitalis pupurea are heart friendly herbs and can be easily taken in the form of tea.
Consumption of 5 to 14 gms of psyllium husk in our daily diet( low in cholesterol and saturated fats) can help in reducing the LDL cholesterol levels to a great extent.