WITH THE VARIETY of colors, textures and flavors apples have to offer, it’s not a surprise that these fruits are  popular. Apart from being delicious, crunchy and juicy, the health benefits that you can get from eating apples are timeless.

Apples are rich in vitamins, particularly vitamin A, which serves as a powerful antioxidant that assists in fighting infections and scavenging inflammatory free radicals. However, most of the fruit’s antioxidant content is found in the peel, so make sure to leave it on when eating apples or using it in your recipes.

Meanwhile, vitamin C in apples enhances immune system function and slows down aging, and B vitamins thiamin (B1), riboflavin (B2) and pyridoxine (B6) work in tandem to release powerful enzymes that boost metabolism and other important bodily functions.

On the other hand, nutrients like iron, copper, zinc, phosphorus, calcium and potassium were shown to contribute to apples’ abilities in controlling heart rate and blood pressure levels, while fiber was linked to helping prevent LDL or bad cholesterol absorption. Lastly, studies have shown apples’ potential in decreasing risk for conditions such as

* Neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s disease

* Stroke

* Type 2 diabetes

* Cancer

* Heart disease

Unfortunately, most commercially sold apples are contaminated with harmful pesticides. In order to reap the health benefits of these fruits, make sure you purchase organic and GMO-free apples.

If you only have access to conventionally grown apples, briefly soak them first in a solution of 10 percent vinegar and 90 percent water to help eliminate some of the pesticides and bacteria. Furthermore, apples are high in fructose, with a medium-sized apple containing a whopping 9.5 grams. Eating too many apples can lead your body’s fructose levels into overdrive, so always eat

Is it fatigue, exhaustion or everyday tiredness

FATIGUE IS A COMMON complaint made to primary care providers by both the general population and by individuals with certain chronic conditions including chronic heart failure, chronic kidney disease, coeliac disease and inflammatory bowel disease

It is important to distinguish between everyday tiredness, that can be managed, and fatigue that can have a serious and continuing impact on an individual’s quality of life.

Everyday tiredness is short-term and generally resolves with extra exercise, rest, and/or sleep. It can be caused by lack of, or excessive exercise, lack of sleep, excess caffeine or alcohol intake, colds or flu.                                                                                     Fatigue is more serious , complex and completely different.  It  has been characterized as long-term mental and/or physical exhaustion that occurs without any great physical exertion. Patients may describe fatigue as feeling “exhausted”, “listless”, “washed out” or “cranky” and may also associate it with diminished performance at work or increased difficulty in performing routine daily tasks. Someone suffering from fatigue will not be able to concentrate, have low stamina levels and may have difficulties in sleeping. Often they will simply not partake in social activities that they once enjoyed. Fatigue, unlike tiredness, cannot be cleared up with a rest.

Exhaustion is a more serious situation and is characterized by confusion, delirium, difficulty to stay awake and sleep and often results in a complete withdrawal from others. Anyone experiencing these symptoms needs to consult their Doctor as there may be a deeper problem.

We all tend to blame fatigue on a too-busy lifestyle. And much of the time we’re right. But if you feel tired all the time or you’re always asking yourself “why am I so tired?”, don’t blow it off. Give yourself about 2 to 3 weeks to make some lifestyle changes: Get more sleep, trim your social calendar, eat more wholesome foods, drink more fluids, take a multivitamin, and cut back on caffeine and alcohol. If you’re still feeling the symptoms of fatigue after those changes, then you need professional help. Excess exhaustion could be the sign of a more serious medical condition that can be treated.                                                                       Here are the most common problems you need to know that could cause fatigue.

1. Anemia

The fatigue caused by anemia is the result of a lack of red blood cells, which bring oxygen from your lungs to your tissues and cells. Anemia may be caused by an iron or vitamin deficiency, blood loss, internal bleeding, or a chronic disease such as rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, or kidney failure.

There are several different types of anemia. Iron deficiency anemia is much more common in menstruating women than in men or menopausal women. The elderly are at higher risk for developing all forms of anemia.

Iron deficiency anemia can result from blood loss (from menstruation, trauma, surgery, or illness), Increased iron requirement for growth during infancy, adolescence, pregnancy, or lactation, Inadequate diet, Inadequate absorption, usually due to gastrointestinal conditions.

Megaloblastic anemia occurs because of deficiency of either folic acid or vitamin B 12.  

The main causal factor of this deficiency is the loss of the ability of the stomach to produce a protein called intrinsic factor which binds with vitamin B-12 and allows it’s absorption in the intestine.

All forms of anemia result in rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, and headache (especially with exercise), difficulty concentrating, dizziness, pale skin, leg cramps, and insomnia.  Feeling tired all the time is a major one. Others include extreme weakness and chest pains.               - To be continued



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