It’s that time of year again: apple-picking season. And there are many good reasons why you’ll want to fill up a basket.
Apples are one of the most popular fruit in the world. In addition to their culinary versatility and numerous colours and flavours to choose from, apples are an exceptionally healthy fruit with many scientifically proven health benefits.
Apples are a rich source of fiber and vitamin C. They also contain antioxidants, like vitamin E, and polyphenols in good amounts that contribute to the fruit’s numerous health benefits.
Scientists have linked apples with improved gut health and reduced risk of stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and cancers.
Here’s why else the phrase “an apple a day helps keep the doctor away” may be considered to be apt.
1. May lower cholesterol
Studies have linked apple consumption with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, which may well be associated to the cholesterol-lowering benefits of the soluble fiber found in apples.
The soluble fiber present in apples prevent bad cholesterol deposits from building up in the walls of the arteries, thereby lowering the chances of atherosclerosis (restricted blood flow in the arteries due to plaque buildup) and Heart disease.
2. Helps fight diabetes
If you have type-2 diabetes, the consider adding apples to your diet.
A compilation of studies found that eating apples is associated with an 18% reduction in type 2 diabetes risk. In fact, just one serving per week may help reduce the risk by 3%.
The soluble fibers present in apple helps to slow the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream and thus aids to regulate blood sugar levels.
3. Apples are a weight loss friendly fruitTrying to shed some pounds? Try adding apples to your diet!
Apples are high in fiber and water, two qualities that make them quite filling. An increasing feeling of fullness works as an excellent weight-loss strategy, as it helps manage your appetite. Apple’s soluble fiber slows down digestion and the rise of blood sugar, keeping you satiated and less likely to overeat.
At only 95 calories for a medium-sized apple, this fruit is one you’ll want to keep on hand when the sweet cravings strike.
4. Helps to get whiter, healthier teeth
Nobody likes stained and unhealthy teeth. A simple natural route to get whiter teeth other than maintaining proper oral hygiene is to add apples to your diet.
The high fibrous content of apples cleans teeth by acting as a natural toothbrush. It scrubs away plaque and aids to remove other food debris in the mouth.
Apple also helps in reducing incidence of bad breath and tooth cavities. The malic acid in apples has antibacterial properties that contribute to keeping bacteria and viruses away from the body. Be sure to leave the skin on the apple, since it contains mouth-healthy fiber in abundance that helps keep teeth and gums clean.
5. Protection against heart disease
Eating an apple or two each day may reduce heart disease risk factor.
This is because they contain many various compounds that improve several factors related to heart health. For example, they contain a flavonoid (photochemical) called quercetin which acts as a natural anti-inflammatory agent.
Quercetin also helps prevent blood clots and strokes.
Flavonoids can help prevent heart disease by lowering blood pressure, reducing LDL cholesterol oxidation, and reducing atherosclerosis, which is the buildup of plaque in your arteries.
The fruit is also charged with antioxidants, which serves the same purpose of fighting bad cholesterol and thus, keeping your heart healthy.
6. Detoxifies your liverOne of the most important organs, the liver cleanses the body of toxins. So, taking care of the liver is very important.
The malic acid and pectin present in apple juice helps to open the ducts that run through the liver, allowing the liver to more easily be flushed. Moreover, it maintains the pH balances within the body, which helps the liver function well.
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) has also proven to be great in maintaining a healthy liver. It is rich with detoxification properties and can promote circulation in the liver detox process.
7. Boosts immune system
Who doesn’t desire a stronger immune system going into autumn? Apples could be added as an important tool in your immune-supporting tool kit.
Being rich in so many nutrients, apples can boost your immune system and keep you free from various types of infections. In particular, quercetin present in apple skin helps prevent various infections and reduce inflammation.
Apples also contain immune-boosting vitamin C which helps strengthen the epithelial (a type of tissue) barrier against pathogens and guard against environmental oxidative stress, such as pollution and radiation.
8. Helps give you glowy skin
One of the lesser known benefits of eating an apple is that it is a great boon for the skin.
Rich in vitamins A, B complex and C, apple benefits your skin by helping to build collagen and get rid of excess oils and pathogens. Eating apples daily can brighten your skin as well as fix uneven skin tone.
Copper present in apples also encourages the skin to produce melanin, which, in turn, helps protect the skin from UV rays.
In addition to this, the powerful antioxidants in apples counteract the damaging effects of free radicals, which are directly linked to premature aging, wrinkles, age spots, and other age-related conditions. Studies have also shown that they increase circulation which keeps the skin looking young and toned.
9. Potential to curb all cancersWhile there is no one surefire way to prevent cancer, apples may help play a role in fighting off the disease.
Clinical trials suggest that antioxidants in apples may offer beneficial effects against certain types of cancers including lung, breast, and digestive tract cancers.
The high fiber content of apples also contribute to their cancer-fighting properties.
10. Boosts eye health and vision
Promoting eye vision is yet another advantage of eating apples. Research has proven apples to prevent conditions like macular degeneration, cataracts, and glaucoma.
Apples also make the eyes stronger by improving eyesight, as well as aid in the treatment of night blindness. They are rich in flavonoid compounds and antioxidant phytonutrients, which reduce the effect of free radicals on the eyes and prevent many diseases.
Besides this, vitamins A, C and quercetin protect our eyes from age-related degeneration and other eye infections.
The bottom line
Apples are an incredibly nutritious fruit that offers a number of health benefits. To make the most of apples, it is advised to consume it with the skin on. The outer crimson skin of apples is very healthy and this is exactly where the secret of this superfood lies. The skin of an apple alone gives you two to six times the antioxidant properties than the flesh of the fruit. An apple a day really can keep the doctor away!