Health Benefits of Apples
Cheap and readily available around the world, apples come in an array of colors depending on the variety (of which there are around 2,000) from pale yellows and greens through to deep reds. Their taste and texture vary too, from juicy to firm and sweet to tangy. Due to the large variety of apples available, you can buy apples pretty much all year round. Some of our favorite health benefits of apples are shown below.
Health Benefits of Apples
1. Apples Prevent Breathing Problems
Five or more apples a week (less than an apple a day!) has been linked with better lung function, Health magazine reported, most likely because of an antioxidant called quercetin found in the skin of apples (as well as in onions and tomatoes), the BBC reported. And the breath benefits of apples extend even further: A 2007 study found that women who eat plenty of the fruit are less likely to have children with asthma.
2. Apples May Be Good for Weight Loss
Apples are high in fiber and water — two qualities that make them filling. In one study, participants who ate apple slices before a meal felt fuller than those who consumed applesauce, apple juice or no apple products. In the same study, those who started their meal with apple slices also ate an average of 200 fewer calories than those who didn’t.
In another study, 50 overweight women added either apples or oat cookies to their diets for 10 weeks. Each item had a similar calorie and fiber content. Those who ate apples lost an average of 2 lbs (1 kg) and ate fewer calories overall. Researchers think that apples are more filling because they are less energy-dense, yet still deliver fiber and volume.
Furthermore, some natural compounds in them may promote weight loss. A study of obese mice found those given a supplement of ground apples and apple juice concentrate lost more weight and had lower levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, and total cholesterol than the control group.
3. Aids in Digestion
Apples, being rich in fiber, help in the digestive process. Regular consumption of apples ensures smooth bowel movements and helps in preventing constipation and various stomach disorders. Fiber is an important part of any diet. It adds bulk to the stool and helps food pass through the digestive tract smoothly. Furthermore, it stimulates peristaltic motion so the muscles contract appropriately and move food along. Finally, it stimulates the release of gastric and digestive juices to ensure efficient uptake of nutrients, while simultaneously scraping excess cholesterol out of your veins and arteries to ensure proper heart health and reduce chances of atherosclerosis.
4. Heart Health
The Florida State study is not the only one to link apple consumption to heart health. Last year, the Iowa Women’s Health Study reported that among the 34,000-plus women it’s been tracking for nearly 20 years, apples were associated with a lower risk of death from both coronary heart disease and cardiovascular disease. Some years earlier, Finnish researchers studying dietary data collected over 28 years from 9,208 men and women found that frequent apple eaters had the lowest risk of suffering strokes compared with nonapple eaters. Experts attribute the heart-healthy benefits to antioxidant compounds found in apples, which help prevent LDL cholesterol from oxidizing and inhibit inflammation. Plus, the soluble fiber in apples has also been shown to lower cholesterol levels.
5. Beat Diarrhea and Constipation
Whether you can’t go to the bathroom or you just can’t stop, fiber found in apples can help. Fibre can either pull water out of your colon to keep things moving along when you’re backed up, or absorb excess water from your stool to slow your bowels down.
6. Detoxify Your Liver
We’re constantly consuming toxins, whether it is from drinks or food, and your liver is responsible for clearing these toxins out of your body. Many doctors are skeptical of fad detox diets, saying they have the potential to do more harm than good. Luckily, one of the best – and easiest – things you can eat to help detoxify your liver is fruits – like apples.
7. Enhancing Brain Power
Did you know that apples contain Boron, a potent mineral which is found in fruits and nuts? Since it is known to affect the nervous electrical activity of the brain, it is known to be a great brain power food. It stimulates brain cells helping in maintaining healthy well-functioning nerve cells. A couple of apples may give you the benefit of 1 milligram of boron, which is a substantial amount for effective functioning of your brain cells, helps you stay alert and improves brain power. Throw in fresh apple slices with a few healthy nuts and enjoy a nutritious brain-boosting snack.
8. Apples Decrease Cancer Risk
Because of the high nutrient content of apples, they’ve become more and more associated with reduced risk of various cancers. Cancer prevention studies on animals have found apples can help prevent colon cancer and reduce the risk of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma by 40%. This is largely attributed to the antioxidant called procyanidins found inside apples. A study titled “Does an apple a day keep the oncologist away?”, found that people who consumed 1 or more apples per day were at a lower risk of developing cancer, including a 20% lower risk of colorectal cancer and an 18% lower risk of breast cancer. Thanks to their flavonoid content, the American Association for Cancer Research concluded that the consumption of apples can reduce your risk of developing pancreatic cancer by up to 23%.
Nutritional Facts of Apples (1)
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