8 Reasons why apples are good for you
When it comes to popularity, apples are considered to be one of the top fruit favorites across the globe. You can buy apples in any grocery store or fruit stand; or even order apples online to have gourmet apples sent right to your door. We all like apples not only because they are crunchy and delicious but also because they are highly nutritious.
Let us talk about the health benefits we get from eating an apple a day.
- Apples Are Highly Nutritious
Apples are considered “nutritional powerhouses” and contain the following nutrients:
· Dietary Fiber – according to the British National Health Service, a diet that consists of high fiber can defend us against certain diseases and limit the amount of bad cholesterol in our blood.
· Vitamin B-complex (riboflavin, thiamin, and vitamin B-6) – these vitamins are responsible for keeping the red blood cells and nervous system healthy.
· Vitamin C – This vitamin is an effective natural antioxidant that blocks some of the damage brought about by free radicals. It also boosts the body’s resistance to counter infectious diseases, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.
Nutritional Value of Apples (with skin) per 100 grams
|Calcium – 6 mg||Sodium – 1 mg|
|Pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) – 0.061 mg||Iron – 0.12 mg|
|Vitamin A equiv – 3 μg||Potassium – 107 mg|
|Carbohydrates – 13.81 g||Manganese – 0.035 mg|
|Lutein and zeaxanthin – 29 μg||Protein – 0.26 g|
|Phosphorus – 11 mg||Thiamin (vitamin B1) – 0.017 mg|
|Water – 85.56 g||Riboflavin (vitamin B2) – 0.026 mg|
|Vitamin E – 0.18 mg||Vitamin B6 – 0.041 mg|
|Magnesium – 5 mg||Folate (vitamin B9) – 3 μg|
|Fat – 0.17 g||Niacin (vitamin B3) – 0.091 mg|
|Energy – 52 kcal||Vitamin K – 2.2 μg|
|Beta-carotene – 27 μg||Vitamin C – 4.6 mg|
- Help in Losing Weight
Apples are filled with dietary fiber and water that makes you feel full. It also contains pectin, which according to a study made in Gastroenterology, slows down digestion and promotes satiety.
People who eat apples on a daily basis eat less compared to those who do not eat apples as part of their diet. Susan Roberts, PhD, professor of nutrition at Tufts University said: “Whole apples take a long time to eat for very few calories,” and added that “you can eat a lot of low-energy-density, high-satiety apples and at the same time stave off the feeling of deprivation.”
- Reduce Risk of Cancer
Jeanelle Boyer and Rui Hai Liu, Cornell University researchers, noted in their review article Apple phytochemicals and their health benefits, “Several studies have specifically linked apple consumption with a reduced risk for cancer.”
Apples, especially the skin, contain flavonoids that act as powerful antioxidants which scavenge the free radicals in our body that is damaging to our genes and control inflammation. It can also turn on maspin, the cancer-suppressing protein, in the body.
- Good For The Heart
Apples have a heart-healthy reputation because of its high soluble fiber that decelerates the buildup of cholesterol-rich plaques in artery walls and inhibit inflammation.
It is also packed with polyphenols, specifically a flavonoid called epicatechin, which lowers blood pressure and decreases the risk of stroke.
Bottom line: Soluble fiber controls cholesterol build-up; while flavonoids concentrated on apple skin can safeguard your heart from diseases because it can lower blood pressure, act as an antioxidant and cut down LDL oxidation.
- Reduce Risk of Diabetes
Recent studies showed that eating a whole apple fruit can significantly reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by as much as 23 per cent; all thanks to an apple’s high dietary soluble fiber.
Apples are a smart choice for a diabetes-friendly diet because they are:
- High in soluble fiber
- Low Glycemic Index Rank (GI 37)
- Help Fight Asthma
Another extraordinary health boost apples can give us is that it helps reduce asthma risk.
Apples are rich in antioxidants – a natural disease fighter with an anti-inflammatory benefit – that can help safeguard the lungs from oxidative damage. Quercetin, a flavonoid found in apple skin, aids in regulating the immune system and lessen inflammation.
- Good for the Bones
Osteoporosis, a condition where bone density reduces, is said to be caused by ageing, deficiency in calcium and too much or too little exercise. However, recent studies show that it can also be triggered by increased inflammation in the body.
Apples are high in flavonoids (phlorizin) and other compounds that can help forestall bone loss related with inflammation. It also contains a mineral called boron that can improve oestrogen levels – low levels of oestrogen can cause osteoporosis. Meanwhile, the pectin in the apple increases stomach acidity that aids calcium absorption.
- Protect Stomach from Injury caused by NSAIDs
NSAIDs are medications used to relieve pain and fever. They also help in reducing swelling and inflammation from an injury or illness like arthritis. The problem with NSAIDs is that they also cause damage to the stomach lining.
Phenolic compounds like chlorogenic acid and catechin found in apples can help prevent oxidative injury to gastric cells and reduce damage to the stomach lining from NSAIDs.
In conclusion, apples should be part of our daily diet because of their nutritional value and health benefits.
On your next grocery visit, don’t forget to shop for apples for yourself and your loved ones to stay healthy. If you can’t find them in your local grocery you can always order apples or buy an apple gift basket online and have quality apples delivered straight to your home where you can enjoy the health benefits of this wonderful fruit.