There’s an old adage we’re rather fond of saying in the UK. Growing up, it was spouted regularly at us by well-meaning relatives and red faced green grocers, and in our younger years we confess to receiving it with a certain amount of scorn. It was an old wives tale, something our parents said to entice us to eat our greens and stay away from the sweets.
An apple a day keeps the doctor away.
Interestingly, a form of the proverb first appeared in print in Pembrokeshire, Wales, in 1866 and was the rather more wordy, ‘Eat an apple on going to bed and you’ll keep the doctor from earning his bread.’ It’s clear that even in the 19th Century, the Further variations followed and it wasn’t until the early 1920’s that the proverb we recognise today became prevalent:
But it can it keep menopausal symptoms away too?
In recent years, there’s been a lot of research into the health benefits a single apple per day can have and it turns out it’s quite the wonder fruit. Apples can lower cholesterol, aid weight loss and help to prevent strokes, but it turns out they can also help to ease symptoms of the menopause too.
The Low Down on the Science
Phytoestrogens: A drop in oestrogen levels during the menopause is one of the main causes of hot flushes (and we all know what a nightmare they can be!) Phytoestrogens are essentially estrogenic compounds that bind oestrogen receptor sites to cells, working like a weak oestrogen and reducing the symptoms of oestrogen deficiency, which can mean fewer hot flushes for some women. It’s also been suggested that phytoestrogens lead to a reduction in bone loss and help to regulate iron absorption into the blood stream, as well as enhancing heart health.
Boron: More interesting than the name implies, boron helps to balance the levels of oestrogen in the body by increasing the body’s ability to absorb oestrogen and vitamin D. Some women can find that this results in higher energy levels and a curb in calcium loss which can help to ward of the dreaded osteoporosis some women experience.
Ursolic Acid: Found in large quantities in apple peal, ursolic acid has been found to increase brown fat levels whilst decreasing white fat levels, and helps reduce muscle atrophy (a decline in muscle mass).
Pectin: helps to stabilise blood sugar levels resulting in less hunger pangs and therefore less need to snack.
So there you have it. Aside from a whole host of other benefits, an apple a day really can help with keeping the symptoms of menopause at bay!
If you’ve found apples have helped manage the menopause, or if you have any tasty apple recipes to share, leave us a comment below!