American nutrition and fitness expert and registered dietitian, Tammi Flynn, has revealed her clients lost weight by eating a fresh apple before each meal. She is preaching the obvious – apples fill up your stomach, so you eat less. But she also teaches us that apple fiber decreases the transit time of food in our digestive systems and the enzymes naturally found in them help our bodies to more efficiently digest other foods that we eat. The juice that apples contain keeps us hydrated.
Ms. Flynn now advocates a low-fat diet using this technique, and we will probably never get bored with apples because there are 7,000 varieties, Gala, Fuji, Red Delicious, McIntosh, Jonathan, and Granny Smith, just to name a few. Apples are easy to carry and available all year around. The sugar in apples satisfies sweet cravings, making us more likely to eat better, and this sugar does not spike blood glucose level up and down like sweet snack foods.
A medium sized apple, about the size of a tennis ball, contains 5 grams of fiber, 20% of the recommended daily fiber intake. Those same apples contain about 80 calories, and almost no fat or cholesterol. Apples contain both types of fiber needed to keep the digestive system healthy and functioning – soluble and insoluble. Pectin, the soluble fiber in apples, lubricates the colon, helping ease the elimination of wastes. Pectin also helps to prevent cholesterol buildup in the lining of blood vessel walls. The insoluble fiber in apples, mainly found in the skin, provides bulk in the digestive tract, helping to move food quickly through the intestines.
According to recent research, apple consumption has been linked with reduced cancer risk. A Mayo Clinic study indicated that quercetin, a flavonoid abundant in apples, helps prevent the growth of prostate cancer cells. A Cornell University study indicated phytochemicals in the skin of an apple inhibited the reproduction of colon cancer cells by 43 percent. The American National Cancer Institute has reported that foods containing flavonoids, like those found in apples, may reduce the risk of lung cancer by as much as 50 percent. Studies done in England, Finland, and the Netherlands claim that people who eat at least five apples a week experience better lung functions and have a much lower risk for respiratory disease. Other studies indicate that the flavonoids in apples help prevent strokes and heart disease. Can we afford not to eat a couple of apples a day?
The word cliffhanger comes from cliffs. Duh. Cliffs are vertical, or nearly vertical, rocks that have been formed by erosion and weathering. There are lots of famous cliffs, but the first ones that come to my mind are the White Cliffs of Dover, probably because there was a popular World War II song about them that was part of my childhood, and also because they are on the historical English coastline.
When one thinks of cliffhangers, England and its gothic novels always come to mind. Cliffhangers are the kind of story, book or movie that uses suspense either at the end of an episode or a scene. A good example was the way the final episode of Game of Thrones, season 5, was done. Jon Snow was dead. Or was he? Those of us who sweated it out until season 6 was aired were never really sure. The writers used old-fashioned melodrama, suspense and uncertainty, and the audience was left as if hanging from a cliff in a state of tension and apprehension. And that’s a true cliffhanger.
This part of the blog will not be able to offer any nail-biting cliffhangers, but it will have classes in series, and I hope they will be interesting enough that you will want to come back and read what happens next, even if you don’t lose sleep anticipating the next chapter. Enjoy.