BY CHINELO NWAGBO
EVERY year, Nigeria produces a lot of its own specie of apples, which belongs to botanical family of Rosaceae with peaches, plum etc. This apple contains certain amount of carbohydrate in form of sugar. It also has small amount of protein and very rich in vitamins C and E; and as well some minerals such as potassium and iron. The local apple contains certain non-nutritive compound such as fibre; flavonoid and polyphenols — both are powerful antioxidant. All the nutrients contained in this apple are essential for proper functioning of the body.
Uses and preparation of local apple
Raw: It can be eaten raw or otherwise, but it must be properly washed. Some people recommend peeling the back to help eliminate pesticides. It can also be eaten raw as in fruit salad.
Juice: It can be used to prepare apple juice.
Baked: Baked apple is delicious and highly digestible. In the process of baking, one must be cautious not to over-bake, so, as to minimise nutrient loss.
Healing power / health benefits
Cures constipation: Apple consumption regulates intestinal function and cures both constipation and diarrhea. Eating one or two on an empty stomach in the morning prevent or cures constipation because of the high-fibre content.
Prevents high blood pressure (hypertension): Studies conducted in Japan, where the normal diet contains a great deal of salt, have shown that those who regularly eat apples have lower blood pressure. This is as a result of high potassium and sodium with little or no fat content of the fruit. Potassium regulates heartbeats in the body.
Lowers elevated cholesterol (a type of fat in the body): Eating apples reduce an increased or elevated cholesterol level. Pectin, a soluble fibre found in apples, plays a significant role in this case. It absorbs biliary salt (a basic ingredient for making cholesterol) and helps to excrete them out through faeces, thereby lowering the cholesterol level.
Prevents arteriosclerosis (narrowing/ blocking of the artery walls due to fat and cholesterol deposits): Favonoids in apple prevents cholesterol and fat deposits in the arteries. Cholesterol and fat deposits are the major cause of arteriosclerosis because they obstruct the flow of blood and nutrients into the artery walls and if arteriosclerosis is not properly treated, it may lead to stroke, heart attack and death.
Good for prevention of cholelithiasis (gallstones): Local apples have choleretic effect (increase bile production in the liver), which helps to decongest the liver. It also reduces lithogenic index of the bile, which measures the tendency to form biliary caculi. Apple is recommended to patients who are at risk of developing cholelithiasis (particularly women between 40 and 50 years old) or those who have undergone surgery because it enables bile to produce more fluid and prevents the formation of gallstone or calculi.
Good for the diabetes: Diabetics like local apples for their sugar, fructose, which requires less insulin than the common sugar. They also contain pectin (fibre) that helps to regulate the slow release of sugar into the blood. Pectin also supplies galacturonic acid, which lowers the body’s need for insulin and helps in the management of diabetes.
Prevents cancer formation
The antioxidants vitamins (C and E) in apples work against the development of cancer by neutralising the agents that cause it. Pectin (a non- nutritive component) is capable of preventing the growth of cancerous tumors of the colon. Local apple is recommended to patients that are at high risk of developing colon cancer as well as those that have been diagnosed or treated of cancer to avoid relapse.
Aid in digestion (cures indigestion): Apples, rich in fibre, help in digestion. Their regular consumption ensure smooth bowel movements, prevention of constipation and other stomach disorders.
Cures anemia: Anemia is the deficiency of hemoglobin in the blood, which can be increased with the regular intake of iron rich diets such as apples.
Dental care: Eating apples help in cleaning the teeth and gum. They also reduce the incidence of cavities in teeth. When you eat apples, the fibre cleanses the teeth and the antiviral properties keep bacteria and virus away.
Bone protection: French researchers found that a flavanoid called phloridzin found only in apples protects post-menopausal women from osteoporosis and may also increase bone density. Boron, an ingredient in apples, also strengthens bones.
Imperial Restaurant…A different style to dining
BY ADEOLA OJEDOKU
MANY know about Imperial Chinese Cuisine Restaurant on Ajose Adeogun, Victoria Island, Lagos but how many have discovered the treasures within? Imperial, like the name, fits perfectly with the venue’s relaxed and informal atmosphere; it simply gives you a fantastic dining experience and the perfect solution to social entertainment.
Warm, creamy and sapphire lights warmed my steps through the doors into the restaurant. This trendy facility is an artistic display of structural paintings of genius.
The main restaurant is over a few steps above the entrance and rests diligently on the bar that is a display of exotic drinks that beckons on you.
A delightful dining experience is started off with Seafood Delight Soup, which is a sea soup with chunks of fish.
The fish amidst other sea rudiments can either be a hit or a miss, but it definitely was a hit for me with its spicy flavour that warmed my palates.
Once that was settled in, I settled down to enjoy enjoy the special hot appetizers; Crab Balls, Jumbo Frantail Prawns and Spring Rolls, each accompanied by a delicate but tasteful sauce which perfectly complements the culinary experience.
The prawns are the biggest and most tender I have eaten a long while. The balled crabs also come hot and covered in a delicious sauce, which will definitely leave you wanting more.
For the main course at Imperial, the experience becomes more exciting as Chef Du’ (as he is fondly called) dazzled and razzled my imagination with his beautifully prepared toasted culinary dishes even before it gets before you.
I was served with an array of a la carte dishes; diced beef with black pepper in sticks, steamed whole steamed whole fish in shallot sauce, cooked prawns with mushrooms and bamboo shoot, deep fried chicken with green and red pepper, lobsters in supreme clear sauce, fried vermicelli in Singapore style and a house special fried rice, all in royal platters. And this is no nouvelle cuisine; the portions are quite large.