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Will An Apple A Day Really Keep The Doctor Away?
The old saying has been around since the beginning of time: “An apple a day will keep the doctor away.” We have heard it for so long but has anyone questioned exactly how an apple can keep you so healthy?
Well, it turns out that there are so many ways this tasty fruit can help improve your health that it has earned the accolade of being the first “superfood.” It is relatively inexpensive, there are a number of varieties, and it has a refreshing and not-too-sweet flavor. That alone would make it easy to add to your daily diet. But when you find out all the other apple benefits for health, you will start adding it to your grocery list.
1. Weight loss
An apple has so much going for it you would think that anyone wanting to lose weight would eat one every day. Apples have no cholesterol, fat, or sodium, they are low in calories, and each medium apple contains about 5 grams of fiber. Because fiber helps to keep you feeling full, overweight people can use this to their advantage by eating an apple around 15 minutes before they eat a meal.
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2. Heart healthy
High cholesterol levels raise a person’s chances of having a heart attack. Apples have antioxidant properties that help to protect the heart. A study from 2012 that was published in the Journal of Functional Foods proved that those who consumed an apple a day over a 4-week period found their bad cholesterol or LDL levels came down by up to 40% as opposed to those who did not eat apples. Another clinical trial by The Women’s Health Study observed 40,000 women who ate an apple each day and found they had a decreased risk of heart problems by up to 22%.
3. Reduces type 2 diabetes
If there is one thing that always comes up when talk of dieting is being discussed, it is to eat more servings of fruits and vegetables. A study in 2013 that was conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health, showed that participants who consumed two apples, two servings of grapes, or two servings of blueberries every day enjoyed a 23% lower chance of getting diabetes than those who consume less than one serving of fruits in a month.
4. Promotes healthy bones and skin
Apple benefits for skin are innumerate. This fruit has everything it takes to keep skin healthy and bones strong. One medium apple has around 14% of the amount of vitamin C that is recommended on a daily basis. In addition, they also have vitamin B. Both of these vitamins work to increase the production of skin cells. They also help to heal irritations and work to resolve issues with acne. Red Delicious and Granny Smith apples, in particular, have higher levels of elastin which keeps the skin firm and reduces wrinkles. In addition, apples have been found to help women who are menopausal from getting osteoporosis due to the flavonoid phlorizin that it contains.
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5. Improves brain power
One of the main ways that apples can boost your brain by protecting its cells is because they are made up of quercetin. This antioxidant works hard to keep free radicals from destroying the cells of the brain. Additional studies have shown that apples help cut down on memory loss as well as the beginnings of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases.
6. Lowers blood pressure
Famed cardiologist Dr. Stephen Sinatra has found that oligomeric proanthocyanins, or OPCs, can be found in many regular fresh vegetables and fruits. The OPCs help with the health of the veins around the heart, blood pressure levels, and the proper circulation of the heart. In particular, one of the types of OPCs, quercetin, is effective at reducing blood pressure levels. Two foods that have the highest levels of quercetin are onions and apples. Onions have to be consumed raw in order to be effective so apples are the best choice to add to your diet if you want to bring down and control your blood pressure.
7. Helps prevent a number of cancers
Based on several clinical trials, the following types of cancers have shown to slow down in case of the addition of apples in the patient’s diet:
- Colorectal cancer – there was a documented decrease in the risk of colorectal cancer when patients consumed apples daily.
- Stomach cancer – apples contain procyanidin which has been found to kill and reduce the progression of cells in those suffering from stomach cancer.
- Esophageal cancer – again, the procyanidin in apples was proven to reduce and eliminate the progression of esophageal cancer.
- Liver cancer – all parts of the apple, including the peel and juice, have been confirmed to effectively destroy liver cancer.
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8. Helps fight asthma
The effects of apples in fighting asthma have been documented in a study that followed 68,000 women. Apples are rich in antioxidants which are effective in keeping the lungs from developing oxidative damage. Out of the group of women, those eating the most apples showed the most reduced risks of contracting asthma. Consuming just 15% of one large apple each day was shown to cut your chances of getting asthma by 10%. The skin of an apple contains quercetin which is able to improve the immune system as well as cut down on inflammation.
KEEP READING: Choosing The Right Apple Infographic
9. Protects the stomach lining
If you suffer from chronic pain you are faced with having to take either heavy prescription medications or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs also known as NSAIDs. Taking NSAIDs on a regular basis can be damaging to the lining of your stomach. It was found that apple extract that was freeze dried helped to keep the stomach lining protected and prevented further damage.
10. Serves as a probiotic
The skin of an apple contains pectin which is a fiber that is able to nurture the good bacteria in your gut. While fiber is not absorbed by the small intestine, it does go into the colon which is why it is able to ensure that the good bacteria is able to grow.