12 Health Benefits of Apples
The oldest saying in the book – an apple a day keeps the doctor away – has long been dismissed as folklore. But really, are apples so easily dismissed?
Research has shown that apples actually do have a lot of nutrients that can help you stay healthy. All you need to do is eat a few apples a week, preferably fresh, and you’ll find yourself on the road to better health. In general, apples contain pectin, a fruit protein; and antioxidants in great abundance, which provide a lot of advantages for you and your health.
Health Benefits of Apples
1. Get healthier teeth – You might be able to keep the dentist away with constant chewing on an apple: the act of chewing on this crunchy fruit stimulates the production of moisture in your mouth, which, in turn, restricts the growth of bad bacteria. This can help keep your teeth from getting brittle or from getting cavities.
2. Keep your brain healthy in the long run – A recent study on mice shows that a diet enhanced with apples and apple juice also resulted in fewer mice being affected by Alzheimer’s disease. Another study has also shown that the antioxidants in apples also keep the brain’s dopamine-producing cells healthy, which can delay the onset of or prevent Parkinson’s disease. Although this research is still young, it can be a good indicator of the potency of apples: they can actually contribute to brain health!
3. Prevent cancer – Apples are rich in flavonols, which have been found to reduce the risk of pancreatic cancer. There are also several compounds in apple peel that have been found to keep liver cancer cells from multiplying. The same results were found for breast and cancer colon cells. Apples are also rich in fiber, which can prevent colon cancer.
Again, these are tentative findings, but they do show that apples have promise in keeping cancer in check.
4. Prevent diabetes – Studies have shown that women who eat at least one apple a day were less likely to develop type 2 diabetes. This is because the fiber in apples keeps the body’s cravings for sugar to a minimum. With less severe sugar cravings, you are less likely to overindulge and therefore tax your liver.
5. Lower cholesterol – Because apples are rich in fiber, they can also flush out a lot of toxins from your body. They can aid in absorbing nutrients more efficiently from food. Moreover, they can help bind to fats and push cholesterol out of your system. This can keep you from getting complications from high cholesterol levels later on, such as stroke and heart disease. This means that apples can help you take care of both your head AND your heart!
6. Prevent formation of gallstones – Gallstones are painful and crippling. They are formed when an overabundance of cholesterol keeps bile from liquefying. Apples, with their high fiber, can help flush out fats from your body long before they are acted upon by bile. This prevents the formation of gallstones.
7. Keep diarrhea and constipation at bay – With lack of fiber in your body, your large intestines can go nuts: they will produce way too little waste to flush the toxins out of your body, leading to constipation; or they will produce way too much waste, leading to diarrhea. Keep yourself from getting dehydrated, and keep yourself from getting too many toxins in your body by eating more fiber. Apples are a good source of fiber.
Apples, with their fiber, can also ease irritable bowel syndrome. You can keep yourself from getting dehydrated, and from those dreaded stomachaches, by consuming an apple.
8. Keep away hemorrhoids – Hemorrhoids occur when your anal opening stretches and strains due to difficulties in passing fecal matter. You can prevent this by regulating your body’s production of wastes, which can be effected by regular consumption of fiber. Apples can provide this fiber that can keep your body from straining and hurting itself.
9. Keep your weight stable – A diet high in fiber can help keep your weight stable. Lower your fiber intake and you’ll find your sugar cravings increasing, your need for high-fat foods going haywire, and your metabolism slowing down. If you regularly consume fiber, you’ll also find that your metabolism will speed up, and even your cravings can decrease. You can get your daily dose of fiber from cereals and wheat, but if you have gluten allergies – and if you want to have something a bit sweeter than your usual bread – apples can help you.
10. Remove toxins from your body – One way for you to remove toxins is to drink a lot of vitamins, consume antioxidants, and eat a lot of fiber. Thankfully, apples have all these advantages. By eating apples regularly, you get a lot of vitamins and antioxidants, and the fiber you consume can help flush out harmful toxins that can be damaging in the long run.
11. Strengthen your immune system – Apples have been found by recent research to contain high amounts of quercetin. Quercetin is a compound that can strengthen your immune system and keep you from getting sick too easily. The quercetin in apples can help you strengthen your immune system, and give you a boost, especially when you’re under stress.
12. Keep your eyes healthy – A good amount of antioxidants in one’s diet can contribute to keeping your eyes healthy. This is because antioxidants can prevent macular generation and even the formation of cataracts. With apples, you can get this dose of antioxidants and keep your eyesight intact, and your eyes healthy, for years to come.
You can put apples in salads and toss them along with lettuce, walnuts, and a light dressing. You can add fresh apples to cakes and even ice cream to add a sour zing, which is especially true for Granny Smith apples! Or you can simply munch on apples when you wake up in the morning, or as a dessert, or a quick snack during the day.
Apples can make for a great dessert and snack, and they can help you stay healthy. With good diet, a lot of exercise, and less stress, you can really keep the doctor away!