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Comparing Apples and Oranges

08 Jul 2015

Comparing “apples with oranges” indicates that there is a false analogy, contrasting two things which cannot be compared as they are so different. However did you know the analogy used to use apples with pears – not oranges?

A quick side-step: The colour of the edible portion of fruits and vegetables often reflects the presence of beneficial phytochemicals such as carotenoids and flavonoids. There are 4 main colour types: Green (dark leafy vegetables such as cabbages, kale), orange/yellow (mostly citrus fruits, carrots, pumpkin and sweet potato), red/purple (mostly red vegetables, cherries, plums) and white (e.g. apples, pears, parsnips). Each of these phytochemicals can exert a positive effect on our health.

Back to apples and pears: A study of over 20,000 men and women followed for 10 years showed that higher intakes of white fruits and vegetables (e.g. apples and pears) were associated with a reduced risk of stroke.

So I did some research of my own – what else could these fulsome fruits do to improve our humble health?

Pears are actually higher in pectin than apples a water soluble fibre. This makes them effective in helping to lower cholesterol levels and in toning the intestines. They are often recommended by health care practitioners as a hypoallergenic fruit and less likely to be responsible for allergies. Pears are a good source of vitamin B2, C, E, copper, and potassium.

Health tip: Pears nourishes the throat and helps prevent throat problems. Drinking pear juice can help clear phlegm.

Apples belong to the Rose family of plants (notice rosehips look a bit like apples?) and are joined in that family by a wide range of very popular foods, including apricots, plums, cherries, peaches, pears, raspberries, and almonds.

Scientists have recently shown that important health benefits of apples may stem from their impact on bacteria in thedigestive tract. In studies, apples are now known to significantly alter amounts of two bacteria (Clostridiales and Bacteriodes) in the large intestine. The phytonutrients in apples can help you regulate your blood sugar. Recent research has shown that apple polyphenols can help prevent spikes in blood sugar.

So now we can compare apples and pears – and they actually have more in common than first thought.

Tags: Fruit, Health, Study

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