I’m sure many of us are familiar with the saying “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Well, there’s certainly a lot of truth behind it. Apples are considered to be very healthy and nutritious fruits. And apples are one of the fruits with a high amount of pectin. The highest concentrations are in the skin, core, and seeds. What is that, you ask? Pectin is a complex carbohydrate. It is a soluble fiber found in the walls of plant cells. Apple pectin specifically has great medicinal advantages and is quite popular in the world of healthy living.
Apple pectin is usually sold in powder form. It has a white or light brown color. Its main use is as a gelling agent, a thickening agent, and as a stabilizer in food. It is also in jams, jellies, fillings, medicine, laxatives, throat lozenges, fruit juices, and many more.
Nutritional Content of Apple Pectin
This is based on one pack of apple pectin powder. It has zero fat and zero cholesterol. It contains sodium, healthy carbohydrates, dietary fiber, manganese, copper, and zinc.
Many people use apple pectin as a good dietary supplement.
Benefits of Apple Pectin
Of course, apple pectin has a number of benefits for the body. Below are a few examples.
Is Good for Your Skin
To maintain that youthful glow and healthy skin, apple pectin is the answer. It fights against the changes to the skin structure that goes along with aging. It also keeps the skin hydrated for a balanced complexion.
Apple pectin has a very high amount of vitamins A and C as well as potassium. These promote skin cell growth. This then boosts the skin’s natural protective barrier. This also plumps the skin and combats free radical damage. It’s soothing and refreshing as well, perfect for any kind of skin type.
Provides Healthy Hair
If you’re suffering from balding and hair loss, then apple pectin is for you. It promotes new hair growth, especially in men. The hair grows faster and stronger. It also makes sure you get a lustrous and smoother mane too.
Relieves Sore Throat
Apple pectin works as a demulcent and has a soothing effect on itchy and irritated throats.
Boosts the Brain
Keep your brain sharp by eating an apple a day. Apple pectin decreases the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. It also slows down age-related mental decline. In addition, it also boosts the production of acetylcholine. This is a chemical that transmits messages among nerve cells. Also, it protects brain cells from the harmful effects of free radicals.
Promotes Healthy Digestion
Since apple pectin is a soluble dietary fiber, it greatly improves the overall digestion. It regulates the digestive system and improves bowel movement. Also, it helps firm stools and reduce inflammation linked to diarrhea and constipation. It balances acidity in the large intestine. In addition, it also treats colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, and other gastrointestinal issues.
Apple pectin also makes sure to regulate intestinal environment. We all need both good and bad bacteria in our bodies. Of course, it is important that the good bacteria outnumber the bad. Pectin makes sure to keep the bad bacteria in check so the good bacteria can perform their duties. These include the proper digestion of food and the proper absorption of nutrients.
Promotes Heart Health
Regular consumption of apple pectin will greatly benefit your heart. And studies show that the apple variety of pectin works best for blood cholesterol. It reduces blood cholesterol levels as it acts against the detrimental part of cholesterol in the blood stream. High blood pressure is reduced as well.
A recent study shows that this pectin protects against ischemia. This is a condition that blocks the coronary arteries and decreases blood flow from the heart.
Helps with Diabetes
Apple pectin controls blood sugar levels. It slows down the digestion of sugar as well as fats. This means lower blood glucose levels and a reduction of insulin demand. This makes it very useful for the control of diabetes.
Helps in Weight Loss
Pectin is basically a fat-burning compound. It helps you feel fuller longer, making sure that you don’t reach for those snacks in between meals. It’s great for people who want to lose weight fast as it limits the food intake.
Fights against Cancer
There is a compound in apple pectin that is attracted to galectin 3. Galectin 3 is a tumor-producing protein. It allows cancer cells to detach from tumors and reattach elsewhere, therefore spreading cancer cells throughout the body. However, apple pectin blocks this activity of galectin 3, thus preventing the spread of cancer.
Apple pectin is particularly effective against prostate cancer, lung cancer, and colon cancer.
Homemade Apple Pectin
It’s quite simple to make your own apple pectin right in the comforts of home. Here’s what you need:
3 pounds green apples, cubed (with the skin and core)
4 cups water
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Place apples in a large pot. Add the water and lemon juice. Next, let the apples boil for about 30 minutes, until the volume reduces in half. Next, strain the apples through a cheesecloth. Boil the juice for an additional 20 minutes. Finally, pour the juice into sanitized jars. Make sure to properly seal them up for storage.
Of course, as with many of the other superfoods, there are some side effects of this. Common side effects of taking apple pectin are bloating and gas. Since it’s very rich in fiber, it is able to absorb several times its weight in water. Make sure to gradually introduce this superfood into your life to lessen the likelihood of side effects.
Also, pregnancy and breastfeeding are two delicate conditions. Though there are no scientific research or evidence that shows that pregnant women or breastfeeding moms should avoid pectin, before taking in apple pectin supplements, make sure to properly consult your obstetrician.