An Apple A Day Can Fight Corona Everyday

Manali: In times of uncertainty people turn to tried and trusted things. Now, with the world scrambling to deal with the effects of the coronavirus, consumers are increasingly turning to healthy ways of eating and living in order to build up resistance.

There are indications that consumption of the fruit, particularly the commodity ranges such as apples, have increased. Sources say that these ranges may well be making a comeback versus the more fashionable fruit types which have grown substantially in recent times.

European experts have been singing the praises of their citrus fruit in providing vital vitamins that build resistance to colds and viruses.

Apples, dripping with morning dew, in a Kullu valley orchard

Apple fruit harvest has just started in Himachal and nutritionists claim that the fruit contains many health-giving benefits, including lowering the risk of heart and blood vessel diseases.

However, it is perhaps the reliable apple that may bring the greatest hope in the fight against Covid-19..

People around the world denied of their normal routine of exercising outdoors, have shown great buoyancy by doing physical exercises in their own homes. Others have joined online workouts such as ‘Swami Ramdev’ yoga classes, uniting people from across the country for workouts every morning.

In addition to this all, eating more apples may be a good idea. In Kullu valley apples now come fresh from the tree and there are plenty around for those who look for them.

“Apple are one of the best sources of dietary polyphenols,” says Prem Sharma, president, Fruit Grower Association Kullu. “Numerous studies have shown that antioxidants in apples are effective. It has been demonstrated polyphenols found in apples are effective antioxidants with many health benefits, including prevention of many types of cancers and neurodegenerative as well as to protect against diabetes and other diseases”.

He added “The study shows that apple peels in particular are high in quercetin glycosides. They go on to say that quercetin is recognized as a ‘free-radical scavenger’ – a forager of the nicest kind”.

Prem disclosed “Researchers have been applying computer modeling techniques to identify molecules with structures that could conceivably block the ‘ACE2 receptors’ on cells to which the coronavirus that causes Covid-19 attaches, much like a key fits into a lock.

“Once the virus enters a cell it hijacks the cellular machinery and uses it to reproduce and oddball out more viruses,” he continues. “Based on its molecular structure, quercetin could be a ‘key’ that fits the lock and blocks other ‘keys.”

Prem Sharma says although one has to be careful about making health claims about products, the bottom line is that there are proven health benefits to eating more apples every day.

“In the current fight against Covid-19 quercetin may have an especially beneficial role. And the fact that you can store our apples safely in the fridge for a few weeks means fewer trips to the shops and less exposure to people who may be ill.”

It is not without a reason that the saying goes ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away.’

Sanjay Dutta, an engineer by qualification but is a journalist by choice. He has worked for the premier new agency Press Trust of India and leading English daily Indian Express. With more than a decade of experience, he has been highlighting issues related to environment, tourism and other aspects affecting mountain ecology. Sanjay Dutta lives in a village close to Manali in Kullu valley of Himachal.

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