Did you ever wonder where the popular saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” came from? It turns out that apples, in fact, are loaded with nutrients, vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants your body needs everyday. So when they say an apple a day keeps the doctor away, they really mean what they’re saying.
An apple can be a great addition to your diet because it packs so many health benefits for you. Eating an apple a day means being kinder to your body and also your mind. Below are what one cup of apples (125g) can give your body and mind:
Calories: 65 kJ or 3%DV (Daily Value)
Protein: 0.3 g or 1% DV
Carbs: 17.3 g or % DV
Vitamin C: 5.7 mg or 10% DV
Potassium: 134 mg 4% DV
Vitamin K: 2.8 mcg or 3% DV
Vitamin B6: 0.1 mg or 3% DV
These are just some of the nutrients and vitamins you can get from a cup of apples. However, apples play more important roles in helping your body ward off common diseases and illnesses. Below are 10 more reasons why you should treat yourself to an apple a day.
1. Apples helps lower your risk Alzeihmer’s disease
Alzeihmer’s disease is a disorder that continually progresses and causes our brain cells to degenerate and die. It is commonly a source of dementia and amnesia as it incites the continuous decline in our thinking and memory.
A lot of older people suffer from Alzheimer’s disease and this hinders their ability to function more independently. But studies suggest that apples have the potential to ward off this disease. This is because apples contain quercetin which is an antioxidant that helps in protecting brain cells and counters degeneration.
2. Apples helps in lowering your blood pressure
Apples are known to have high doses of potassium which is a mineral that helps in controlling blood pressure. Incorporating apples into your diet can help in reducing the risk of stroke. The fruit is high in polyphenols known to help in lowering blood pressure.
Even if you’re on the healthier side and your blood pressure is normal, apples can help in preventing health issues to arise.
3. Apples are good for your heart
Studies have found that the sweet fruit is linked to lower risk of heart disease. Researchers from the University of California-Davis conducted a study where participants added two apples or 12 ounces of apple juice into their diet. After only six weeks into their new diet, the participants showed positive effects. These positive effects include the slowing down of the oxidation process involved in the buildup of plaque which leads to heart disease.
Furthermore, apples promote heart health in several other ways. The fruits are high in solu soluble fiber and polyphenols. Soluble fiber is linked to lowering of cholesterol while polyphenols help in lowering blood pressure and the risk of stroke.
4. Apples helps in lowering your cholesterol
Apples help in lowering your cholesterol levels because they contain polyphenols, fiber, and phytosterols. A medium sized apple contains more fiber than most cereals. In fact, they provide as much as 5 grams of fiber.
Studies have proven that the nutrients that are found in apples help in preventing cholesterol to build up. This means that eating the fruit can help in reducing the risk of atherosclerosis and heart disease.
5. Apples prevent your risk of colon cancer
Many observational studies have found a link to apples and the lower risk of cancer.
Apples contain a lot of fiber which then promotes healthy digestion. Additionally, apples contain pectin which helps in building strong intestinal lining and removing toxins. Together with fiber, they promote bowel regularity and ward off toxin buildup.
Furthermore, according to a research from Germany, natural fibre fermenting in the colon produces chemicals that fight forming cancer cells.
6. Apples help lower your risk of asthma
The sweet fruit contains anti-inflammatory compounds and antioxidants that are key in regulating your immune responses and protection against asthma.
Based on a study from the Aberdeen University, there is strong evidence that suggests a healthy diet that is rich in vitamins and antioxidants is effective against asthma. Dr. Peter Burney, who led the study, said that the phytochemicals, such as flavonoids and phenolic acids, that are found in apples function to calm the inflammation in one’s airways. This is why the researchers found that the participants who drank apple juice had their symptoms relieved.
7. Apples strengthen your bones
Apples contain a phytonutrient called phloridzin. It is important to note that phloridzin is found only in apples, especially in the peels. Phloridzin helps in increasing bone density. Furthermore, in post-menopausal women, phloridzin helps in reducing bone breakdown and helps in combating osteoporosis.
Clinical studies also found that boron, which is another ingredient found in apples, help in supporting and strengthening bones. Boron increases the serum levels of calcium absorption which helps in building strong bones.
8. Apples aid in your weight loss
Apples are known to contain high loads of fiber while being low in calories. A large apple, one that weighs 223 grams, contains 116 calories and 5.4 grams of fiber. With this much fiber, it is no surprise that eating an apple can be so filling. This is one of the reasons why apples help in supporting weight loss. When you feel full, you eat less and therefore take in less calories, carbs, and fats.
A study found that participants who ate apple slices before their meals felt fuller than those who did not. Furthermore, those who started their meal with the apple slices had an average of 200 fewer calories eaten than those who did not.
Researchers believe that apples are more filling because they provide more fiber and volume while being less energy-dense.
9. Apples lower your risk of type 2 diabetes
A lot of studies found links in eating apples to lowering risk of type 2 diabetes. This is because fiber, which apple is rich in, helps fight against type 2 diabetes.
One study showed that participants who ate even just one apple a day proved to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by 28%. This is in comparison with those who didn’t eat any apples. Furthermore, the same study suggested that eating even a few apples per week had similar effects.
10. Apples protect against stomach injury caused by painkillers
A type of painkillers known as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs can potentially injure the lining of your stomach. Eating apples can help in alleviating this.
A study was done with test tubes and rats and they found evidence that freeze-dried apple extracts help in protecting stomach cells to be injured by NSAIDs. The plant compounds found in apples known as chlorogenic acid and catechin are believed to be specifically helpful.
Given this, further research in humans is still needed to provide more accurate results.
Eating apples will surely make you kinder to yourself. Even just one apple a day, or a few a week, can do wonders for your body and mind’s health. As the age-old saying goes, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.”