An apple a day keeps the doctor away... but two is even better

The old adage ‘An apple a day keeps the doctor away’ might have held good over centuries but newly published research (2010) has suggested that two apples a day is even better for your health.

This is one of the major findings of ISAFRUIT, a research project co-financed by the European Commission. The initial nutritional studies show that two apples a day (300g of apple) helps reduce cholesterol by 10 per cent.

That’s music to the ears of Norman Collett, the English Fruit Marketing Group, who exclusively introduced the popular Rubens apple to English apple growers in 2007. The new star of commercial English orchards and has seen tree planting quadruple in three years as consumer demand for the fiesty red apple has grown beyond all expectations.

As Sarah Calcutt, business development manager, at Norman Collett, said: “The health benefits of eating English apples as part of your daily diet are already well documented and researched. Now we are seeing the benefits that regular consumption of two apples a day can have in helping to reduce cholesterol levels. This is great news for apples in general and Rubens in particular. As a sweet dessert eating apple, the Rubens provides a particularly good, low calorie, natural fruit sugar ‘fix’, whilst its’ nutritional performance outstrips many other varieties of apples.”

The Rubens, which is a delicious cross between Elstar and Gala apples, contains just 66 calories in an average Rubens apple. Calcutt says the new variety of apple performs particularly well with high levels of Vitamin C, antioxidants and calcium.

Our American cousins have also concluded that more than one apple a day keeps the doctor away and helps you lose weight. Tammi Flynn, a dietician and author of the 3-Apple-ADay- Book, discovered that by encouraging dieters to eat an apple before every meal they could lose three times the amount of weight than previous dieting attempts without the apples. Indeed, Flynn discovered that when she incorporated three apples a day into the meal plans of participants in a fitness contest, 376 people lost 6,312 pounds in 12 weeks (the equivalent of 16.78lb each) which resulted in the birth of the 3-Apple-A-Day plan in the USA.

Sarah Calcutt of Norman Collett believes the convenient ‘packaging’ of apples in their skin, combined with the natural sweetness of the Rubens variety, makes the new breed a popular aid to dieting. “It has now been clinically proven that if you eat an apple 15 minutes before a meal, you will consume on average 187 fewer calories. Because apples are a great ‘anytime’ snack for adults and children they are easy to incorporate into a healthy diet on the move – at work or school. The unique good balance between acidity and sweetness of the Rubens, makes this little gem of the orchard a delicious, sweet and juicy dessert treat. And at just 66 calories an apple, it’s a low cal snack that fills you up, helps burn calories and now we understand can reduce cholesterol by ten per cent.”

Indeed, research carried out by Washington State University in the Sensory Evaluation Laboratory at the School of Food Science on Rubens and seven other varieties of apples showed Rubens giving a balance between sweetness and sourness, with high apple flavour intensity. Rubens was also judged high in firmness, crispness and juiciness and low in mealiness.

Rubens is sold throughout England and Wales via major supermarkets including Tesco, Co-op, Morrisons and Booths the new harvest is in shops now.