Nutrition

The 7 Amazing Health Benefits of Apples

Find out why an apple a day can actually help keep the doctor away.

It’s the right time of year again: apple picking season. And there are several good reasons why you should fill a basket with them.
Not only are apples delicious on their own or added to dishes, but they are also very beneficial for your health. Apples are associated with many health benefits. Including improving gut health and reducing the risk of stroke, hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, obesity and certain cancers.
A medium sized apple is a good source of fibre. It contains 4.4 grams, or 16% of the daily value (DV). Additionally, that same apple contains 8.4 milligrams of vitamin C, or more than 9% of the DV, along with small amounts of other vitamins and minerals.
You can add them to salads or cheese, make baked apples for a healthy dessert, or cook a roast chicken with apples in the slow cooker for an easy lunch or dinner.

Here’s why the phrase “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” may have some truth.

1. Apples can lower cholesterol and blood pressure

Enjoy a juicy apple and you may just be helping to keep your heart healthy. Studies have linked apple consumption to reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. This effect may be related to the cholesterol-lowering benefits of soluble fiber in apples. Soluble fibers dissolve in water to form a gelatinous material. Thus, soluble fiber helps prevent the accumulation of cholesterol in the wall of blood vessels, thereby reducing the incidence of atherosclerosis and heart disease. It can also help lower blood pressure. One study showed that a higher intake of soluble fiber was associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.

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Regular consumption of apples (or pears) is associated with a 52% reduction in the risk of stroke. Additionally, a February 2020 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that eating two apples a day helped study participants lower their LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

2. Eating foods with fiber, including apples, can help digestion

You’ve probably heard that fiber is good for digestion. What you heard is true! Both types of fiber (soluble and insoluble, which means they cannot be absorbed from water) are important for digestion. And you’re in luck, apples have both types of fiber. Soluble fiber slows down digestion, which helps you feel fuller. Plus, they also slow down the digestion of glucose, which helps control your blood sugar levels. As for insoluble fiber, it can help move food around the body and fight constipation and promote regularity.

Be sure to eat the skin of the apple, which contains much of the apple’s insoluble fiber.

3. Apples can support a healthy immune system

Who doesn’t want a stronger immune system in the fall? Apples could be an important tool in your immune support kit. A diet full of soluble fiber helped convert pro-inflammatory immune cells into anti-inflammatory and immune system support cells. A study published in November 2017 in the journal Nutrients found that vitamin C plays many roles in the functioning of the immune system. Notably by strengthening the epithelial barrier (a type of tissue) against pathogens and protecting against environmental oxidative stress.

4. Apples prevent and help control diabetes

If you have type 2 diabetes, consider adding apples to your diet. Sure, it’s a fruit, but it’s often mistakenly thought that diabetics can’t eat fruit. In this case, the soluble fiber in apples can help slow the absorption of sugar into the blood and can improve blood sugar levels. A healthy diet that includes insoluble fiber may reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Additionally, a study in people with type 2 diabetes published in August 2016 in Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine found that consuming soluble fiber on a regular basis helped reduce insulin resistance and improve blood sugar and fat levels. triglycerides in the blood.

5. Antioxidants in Apples May Play a Role in Preventing Cancer

While there’s no surefire way to prevent cancer, apples could play a role. Apples may reduce the risk of certain cancers, which researchers say is linked to the antioxidants found in apples. Research suggests that apples have a very high level of antioxidants, and in lab studies, these antioxidants have been shown to limit the growth of cancer cells. A study published in October 2016 in Public Health Nutrition showed that regular apple consumption is associated with a reduced risk of certain cancers. Including colorectal, oral cavity, esophageal and breast cancers.

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And another study, published in January 2019 in the journal The Lancet, found that a diet high in dietary fiber may protect against colorectal cancer and breast cancer.

6. Eating apples can promote healthy weight loss

A diet rich in fruits (and vegetables) can help you maintain a healthy weight. Or lose weight. Since apples are high in dietary fiber, they are high on this list. Fiber slows digestion and increases blood sugar levels, keeping you full and reducing the risk of overeating. According to this study published in The Lancet, people who ate the most fiber had significantly lower body weight. Research shows that overweight women who ate three apples a day lost 1.22 kg after 12 weeks. With only 95 calories for a medium-sized apple, this fruit is one you’ll want to keep on hand when sweet cravings strike.

7. Apples May Help Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease

It’s time to start eating more apples and other flavonoid-rich foods like berries and tea. A study published in August 2020 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that adults aged 50 and over who consumed only a small amount of flavonoid-rich foods like berries, apples and tea were at risk 2-4 times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease and related types of dementia over 20 years than people who ate more flavonoid-rich foods.
Additionally, a study published in January 2020 in the journal Biomolecules found that quercetin, a flavonoid found in apples, protects neurons from oxidative damage. They also have other anti-Alzheimer’s disease properties.

[HighProtein-Foods.com]

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