It has been said, an apple a day keeps the doctor away. Commercialization of produce development has evolved from wild varietals filled with healthy phytonutrition with powerful medicinal effects in the body to high sugar nutritionally deplete versions today (developed for sweeter taste).
The nutraceutical industry has massively benefited from the depletion of nutrition since we not longer get all nutrients needed by eating food alone. Throughout history growers have sought to answer challenges finding ways to make fruits and vegetables milder and sweeter to please the consumers palette for taste, in addition to creating produce that lasts longer in cargo from tree, to crate, to truck, to its final destination in the produce aisle of your local supermarket for purchase. As a result sugar content is much higher, genetics of varietals have been modified, phytonutrients lessened in addition to protein content, and ultimately the question arises, whether today’s produce is as healthy as choosing a wild varietal.
NIH conducted a study in 2009 to demonstrate that certain varietals of produce found in our local supermarkets higher in sugar and low in phytonutrition can actually aggravate health issues.
Does “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”? The goal of the study was to indicate whether eating more fruit would reduce the men’s high risk of heart disease.
Forty-six overweight men with high triglycerides and cholesterol agrreed to participate in an eating experiment where the 23 subject control group stayed with their regular dietary habits.
The 23 remaining simply added one Golden Delicious apple to their every day dietary consumption.
At the conclusion of the study blood lipids were tested and compared with results from pre-study testing. While the control group remained the same, those who added one Golden Delicious Apple were found to have even higher triglycerides and LDL cholesterol than they had at the beginning of the study. Men who added the apple were even higher risk for stroke and heart disease.
It was concluded the varietal chosen for the study makes the difference. The Golden Delicious varietal, one of the most popular varietals in the US, is too low in phytronutrients and too high in sugar content, despite that it is an heirloom at 100 years old. Even the Liberty Apple, 75 years younger has twice as much antioxidant effect as its heirloom cousin. Age of varietal is not always a factor or a good predictor of nutrition of the produce’s effect on our health. Wild apples are always first choice when looking for top nutrition value.
Frankly, we would need to go back 10,000 years, not 200 years, in the development of commercial produce to get the powerful pain relieving, healing, anti-inflammation effects we are missing produce available today.
On a positive note, you can find wilder varietals easily in local organic super markets and local farmers markets. Seeds are easily found to grow ones own crops of wild varietals of common. Even a person living in urban apartments in large cities can grow kale, tomatoes, peppers, lemons, berries, herbs and more right inside the smallest of residences using planters and high spectrum lighting.