What Are Apples? Apples are soluble fiber (a whopping 4 grams for a medium size apple) that contain quercetin – an inflammation fighting anti-oxident. Apples also contain 14% of the daily recommended immune boosting Vitamin C. All of this and more for only about 95 calories! Eating one apple counts as 1 cup of fruit, already half of the USDA recommended fruit quota for a day (recommendation is 2 cups per adult on a 2,000 calorie diet).
Importance of Antioxidants in Apples
USDA scientists investigated over 100 foods to measure their antioxidant concentration per serving size. Two apples —Red Delicious and Granny Smith— ranked 12th and 13th on their list. Antioxidants are disease-fighting compounds which help prevent and repair oxidation damage caused by normal cell activity. Apples are full of a fiber called pectin and a medium size apple contains about 4 grams of fiber. Pectin is classed as a soluble, fermentable and viscous fibre, a combination that gives it a huge list of health benefits.
12 Reasons to Eat An Apple A Day
1. Reduce your Cholesterol Level: The soluble fiber in apples clings to fats in your intestine to reduce overall cholesterol levels.
2. Make your heart healthy: Lower cholesterol levels lead to a slower buildup of plaque in the arteries. The phenolic compound found in apple skins also helps prevent cholesterol from solidifying on the artery walls and clogging them, which would lead to reduced blood flow to the heart and thus coronary artery disease.
3. Have Healthy White Teeth: Although an apple can’t replace a toothbrush… eating one stimulates the production of saliva in the mouth, lowering the bacteria level in the mouth and thus reducing tooth decay.
4. Decrease the risk of Diabetes: Apples are loaded with soluble fiber which reduces blood sugar swings.
5. Slow Cancer Formations: Many types of cancer growth have been proven to slow with the consumption of an apple a day. Scientists from the American Association for Cancer Research report that an apple a day helps reduce the risk of developing pancreatic cancer. Cornell researchers found compounds in apple peel (triterpenoids) that fight cancer growth in the breast, colon and liver. Earlier research found that apples reduce the number and size of mammary tumours in rats. The National Cancer Institute recommends a high fiber diet to reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.
6. Prevent gallstones: Gallstones form if there’s too much cholesterol in your bile to remain liquid, so it solidifies. This is most common in the obese. So again, grab an apple a day like the doctor recommends.
7. Become “regular”: Whether you’re constipated or have the runs, the fiber in apples can help. It either pulls water out of the colon to keep things moving or absorbs excess water from the stool to slow things down. This can also help avoid the development of hemorrhoids which form from too much pressure when using the bathroom. The symptoms of IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) can also be controlled with a diet high in fiber (and avoiding dairy and fatty foods).
8. Avoid Alzheimer’s: Studies with mice show that just drinking apple juice fights the effects of aging on the brain. These mice showed higher levels of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter, and did better in maze tests than those without apples .
9. Protect against Parkinson’s: Research shows that people who eat high fiber fruits gain some protection against Parkinson’s disease, which is a breakdown of the brain’s dopamine producing nerve cells. This has been linked to the antioxidants. .
10. Weight control: To manage weight and thus improve overall health doctors recommend a diet rich in fiber – an apple a day. Foods high in fiber fill you up without a lot of calories.
11. Liver detoxification: The liver is responsible for clearing the toxins that are constantly consumed back out of the body. Many doctors are skeptical of fad detox diets, saying they have the potential to do more harm than good . But all doctors seem to recommend an apple a day.
12. Boost the immune system: Red apples contain an antioxidant called quercetin which can help boost the immune system, especially when you’re stressed out. This antioxidant has also recently been linked to a decrease in the development of cataracts .
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Remember, an apple a day does indeed help keep the doctor away!