Does an apple a day truly keep the doctor away? Maybe you can’t put off your annual trip to the GP simply by increasing your apple consumption, but you can benefit your overall health.
Apples contain a host of health benefits due to their nutritional profile. Plus they taste delicious, and you can serve them many different ways or simply eat them raw. Here are seven proven properties of apples for improving how you look and feel. Let’s take a bite, shall we?
1. Apples Are High in Fiber
If you’re trying to shed a few pounds or simply regulate your bowel movements, reaching for an apple as a snack could benefit you. Apples contain high levels of dietary fiber — more than 15 percent of your recommended daily allowance¹ — all for less than a hundred calories on average.
Fiber creates bulk in your intestines, so if you’re plagued with watery bowel movements, eating more apples can help solidify them. Fiber also helps keep you fuller longer, curbing cravings. And fiber doesn’t stop working there — eating a diet high in the substance lowers cholesterol levels significantly.
2. Apples Contain Probiotics
If you often suffer tummy trouble, adding more apples to your diet does double duty. Not only do they contain fiber, one of the types, pectin, also acts as a powerful probiotic. Probiotics are foods which nourish healthy intestinal bacteria which aid in the digestive process. Dietary supplements often combine pectin with lactobacillus acidophilus² to boost intestinal health, but simply eating an apple with a cup of yogurt produces the same effect (and there’s zero risk of overdose).
3. Apples Preserve Neuratransmitters
One study performed by the Journal of Food Science indicated apples may prove efficacious in the battle against dementia. In the experiment, researchers exposed P12 cells³, which are similar to neurons, to phenolics found in apples and other fruits. They found the phytochemicals in the fruits prevented neurotoxicity from oxidative stress. Of all the fruits studied, apples provided the strongest antioxidant effect, so if folks in your gene pool tend to live to great ages, keep your brain healthy by chowing down on a red delicious.
4. Apples Clean Your Teeth
If you’re one who spends a fortune on whitening toothpaste and strips, you could unwittingly hurt your tooth enamel — but you can prevent tooth stains naturally by eating more apples! Apples prevent teeth staining by naturally scrubbing teeth when you eat them⁴. Experts recommend waiting 30 minutes after eating or drinking to brush your teeth, so enjoy an apple after your morning cuppa to ward off coffee and tea stains.
5. Apples Help You Detox and Lose Weight
You already know the fiber in apples keeps you full, but adding the fruit to your diet may also reduce your weight in conjunction with a lower-calorie diet and regular exercise. Researchers examined two groups of women, one of which included apples and pears in their diet, the others who used reduced calories and exercise alone. Those who included apples lost more weight and decreased calorie consumption⁵ even further than those who did not increase consumption of these fruits.
6. Apples Lower the Risk of Heart Disease
Consuming apples lowers LDL, or bad cholesterol, meaning your arteries and veins block up less easily. One study, which followed women over the course of a year, found they decreased their LDL levels by 14 percent⁶ by increasing apple consumption. Some evidence exists that apples also lower the risk of developing type II diabetes, a condition which also increases heart disease risks.
7. Apples Boost Your Immunity
Finally, apples contain 14 percent of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C. Vitamin C is critical for the overall health of your immune system, so eat up, especially during cold and flu season. Additionally, apples contain high levels of vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 works as an anti-inflammatory and may reduce the pain of chronic inflammatory conditions⁷ like rheumatoid arthritis.
An Apple a Day Might Actually Keep the Doctor Away
No one suggests putting off your annual checkup, but you could get better results at your next doctor visit by increasing your apple consumption. With a host of health benefits, there’s no reason not to reach for a Fuji right now!