We all vaguely hear about the health benefits of eating fruits and vegetables often, but rarely is it reinforced just how awesome some of these foods are for your health. Apples are definitely one of those “miracle” fruits that offers an unbelievable amount of benefits; it would almost be criminal not to eat them every day.
Apples are very low in saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium (ingredients which cause a number of dietary and health concerns such as heart disease). They are also a great source for dietary fiber and Vitamin C. Mostly carb-filled, they are best for your metabolism in the morning, but eating them any time of day is never a bad idea.
2. Weight Loss
Apples can easily satisfy hunger in exchange for only a few calories (95 for a medium sized apple – 3″ in diameter). Beyond the low carb count, apples also contain pectin, which prevents your body from absorbing too much fat, helps your body release fat, and suppresses your appetite (thus satisfying hunger). Also, there have been several studies associating apple consumption with weight loss.
Not only does pectin help your body lose weight, it also lowers LDL cholesterol, which collects in and blocks your blood vessels. Studies have shown that pectin and polyphenols, which are both found in apples, enhance lipid metabolism and reduce the production of LDL. Having less LDL cholesterol puts you at a lower risk of heart disease and heart attacks.
Still on the topic of pectin, this wonderful molecule also supplies galacturonic acid which lowers the body’s need for insulin. Essentially, the low glycemic index of pectin (among other sugars found in apples) means that the sugars absorb more slowly, allowing the body more time to properly metabolize and use those sugars.
From what I’ve said about the nutrition, weight loss, and cholesterol benefits of apples, you can probably tell that apples are also good for your heart. Much of this has to do with pectin but also the strong antioxidant composition of apples helps prevent the oxidation of fats found in the bloodstream or linking to our blood vessels. This decreased amount of lipid peroxidation is key to lowering heart risks and diseases.
Many studies have shown a correlation between increased consumption of apples and a decreased risk of lung cancer. It is suggested that this is due to their quercetin (polyphenol) content, which can be found in flavonoids. There is a lot of research to be done on flavonoids. Most fruit and vegetables have them, but the inverse association between lung cancer risk and food sources of the flavonoid quercetin is incredibly strong with apples.
There have been an abundant amount of studies revealing a correlation between increased consumption of apples and decreased risk of breast cancer. Again, this has to do with the phytochemicals, such as phenolics and flavonoids, found naturally in apples. Studies have also shown that apple peels contain valuable compounds the prevent and fight cancerous tumors, so be sure to eat the peels as well.
Apple consumption shows an inverse link with asthma, meaning eating more apples decreases the risk of asthma and bronchial hypersensitivity. Apparently orange intake shares the same association too. So not only do Apples prevent lung cancer, they also might beneficially affect lung function. Again, this is all due to that miracle flavonoid, quercetin, which is found heavily in apples.
9. Builds Bones
Apples exclusively contain a flavonoid called phloridzin which “may protect postmenopausal women from osteoporosis by improving inflammation markers and increasing bone desnity.” Not to mention, vitamin C and boron (which are also found in apples) increase the production of collagen which maintains muscles, cartilage, and bones. Win win.
Fairly recent studies have shown that drinking apple juice may improve memory and help prevent Alzheimer’s disease. The rich antioxidants found in apples by preserving the health and presence of a neurotransmitter known as acetylcholine. Neurotransmitters like acetylcholine are released by nerve cells in order to transmit messages to other nerve cells and are critical for good brain health and memory.
Wow! As you should be aware by now, apples contain countless health benefits due to the plethora of beneficial molecules they contain, including dietary fiber, flavonoids, pectin, polyphenols, quercetin, phloridzin, and the numerous antioxidants these molecules provide. There are so many health benefits to apples, there is really no reason not to at least eat one a day. They are carb-heavy which makes them a great morning snack to start your metabolism for the day; beyond that, the dense texture inside apples makes them fairly decent at cleaning your teeth as well.
Remember that not only are the insides of apples good for your health, so are the skin peels. If you are worried about pesticides on the skin, buy organic and never look back. It will be worth the long-term health benefits including memory, cancer reduction, respiratory health, and cardiovascular health.
This guest post is contributed by Katheryn Rivas, who writes for online universities blog. She welcomes your comments at her email Id: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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