Superfoods available from the Burchell Nursery include almonds, apples, apricots, cherries, olives, oranges, walnuts and the category’s new star, pomegranates
It’s long been said, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Research is beginning to prove the quaint saying true. As cited on the All About Apples website, this fruit contains potassium and has no fat, cholesterol or sodium, which may promote heart health, help maintain healthy blood pressure and a healthy weight.
Apples are packed with antioxidants, flavonoids and pectin. Flavonoids are the phytochemicals found in apples that have been shown to have antioxidant, anti-viral and anti-inflammatory effects. In particular, apples contain a plant pigment flavonoid, quercetin, which acts as a building block for other members of the flavonoid family to combat free radicals. The All About Apples website references quercetin as having the potential to help reduce cancer risk, prevent heart attacks and eye diseases such as cataracts, control asthma, and speed healing of recurrent heartburn.
Pectin is a natural fiber found in many fruits, but apples are the richest source of pectin among all. Recent studies on the health benefits of pectin show it works to lower the “bad” cholesterol, decreases the chances of colon cancer, and can lower high blood pressure, and may even help to lessen the severity of diabetes.
You can find 14 varieties of apples at Burchell.
Fresh apricots are an excellent source of vitamins A, C, E, potassium, and iron, as well as being a great source of beta-carotene, according to Scott Kessman in his article Health Benefits of the Apricot, an Excellent Fruit for Your Diet. He credits two to three apricots as providing nearly 50 percent of the recommended daily value of vitamin A, and they contain no fat and only a small amount of carbohydrates.
Kessman goes on to say that the variety of nutrients found in apricots are very beneficial for good eyesight and also help to prevent heart disease and other ailments. Apricots are also rich in powerful antioxidants, such as lycopene, which helps to promote wellness and strengthen the immune system. The Juicing For Health website (www.juicing-for-health.com) expands upon this, stating that the beta carotene and lycopene in apricots help protect LDL cholesterol from oxidation, which in turn helps prevent heart disease.
If you’d like to expand your acreage in apricots, Burchell offers a dozen varieties.
Cherries are considered a superfood due to their super level of antioxidants as compared to other fruits. According to Bob Trott and his article Are Cherries the New Wonder Fruit? on www.msnbc.msn.com, the key is the fruit’s skin and pigmentation, where antioxidants called anthocyanins are found. The article quotes a study at Michigan State University that links cherries to heart health benefits and findings from the Moss Report that the antioxidant activity of tart black cherries is greater than that of vitamin E.
The website www.choosecherries.com details other important nutrients found in cherries, such as beta carotene (19 times more than blueberries or strawberries), vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, iron, fiber and folate. Cherries also contain melatonin, which has been found to help regulate the body’s natural sleep patterns, reduce the effects of jet lag, ward off memory loss and slow down the aging process.