We’ve all heard the old saying, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.”
Maybe your mom said it to you growing up. Maybe you say it to your kids to encourage their healthy eating habits.
You probably intuitively know that apples are healthy for you, but have you ever asked yourself why? What is it about these white-fleshed fruits that makes them so healthy? What are the true benefits of eating apples?
We all know that fruit is an important part of a healthy diet, but the components of apples make them particularly special. Packed full of antioxidants, dietary fibers, vitamin C, and vitamin B, this energy-dense nutritional powerhouse is a tasty addition to your healthy diet.
Below we’ll look at six surprising and scientifically proven benefits that we can get from simply eating more apples:
Researchers from the University of Denmark have discovered that apples help to increase the number of good bacteria in your gut. Pectin, a fiber found in apples, feeds the good bacteria allowing them to grow and reproduce. Plus, when the good bacteria eat pectin, it creates healthy byproducts that then circulate through your body. It’s thought that this is the reason that apples can prevent and help fight obesity, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.
According to a study from the University of Illinois, the pectin fiber found in apples can reduce inflammation due to obesity-related disease and strengthen the immune system. This soluble fiber increases the production of an anti-inflammatory protein, which in turn helps you recover faster from infection. Apples have a lot of antioxidants, which fight off potentially damaging oxidative agents in your body and keep you disease-free.
Eating apples can help reduce your risk of heart disease and other complications. A French study found that diets with the highest total dietary fiber and nonsoluble dietary fiber intakes were linked to a lower risk of several heart disease factors. These factors most notably include weight, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels. It is thought that the soluble fiber present in apples helps lower cholesterol, and the antioxidants help lower blood pressure. Read more about how apples promote a healthy heart.
Apples are literally food for thought. Evidence from the University of Massachusetts-Lowell suggests that apples and apple juice helps improve brain health and fight against the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. The apples may help preserve acetylcholine, an important neurotransmitter that can decline with your age.
As we’ve mentioned previously, apples may counteract obesity and make it easier to lose weight in several ways. A study at Harvard found that a higher intake in foods rich in flavonols, flavan-3-ols, anthocyanins, and flavonoids, all found in apples, leads to less weight gain in adults. Also, the high fiber content in apples make them very filling and prevent you from eating more than you need to. Paired with a healthy lifestyle, apples can help you reach and maintain your weight goals.
While amazing in their nutritional properties, apples are not magical fruits. A well-rounded diet, physical activity, and emotional well-being all play crucial roles in becoming a healthy human being.
Eating an apple a day can help you on your way to becoming a better you.
We’re currently picking and packing Ginger Gold and Gala Apples! Apples and gift boxes can be shipped to addresses on the East Coast that FedEx can reach in 2 days. Get your delicious Shenandoah Valley apples today!
“Health and Nutrition Research.” US Apple Associate, http://usapple.org/health-nutrition/research/