Have you ever wondered about the health benefits of apples? Sure, most of us grew up with our parents and our teachers telling us that an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but is there really any truth in that? After all, when I grew older some shrewd marketing guru changed the slogan to two a day.
Was this just because farmers needed to shift more apples? Was it because supply was exceeding demand? I guess well never really know for sure, but I can tell you this: Apples are so much more than just another pleasant tasting fruit. Lets take at what some once called…..The Forbidden Fruit.
INTERESTING FACT: Scientists at the USDA recently studied more than 100 different natural foods in order to determine their antioxidant value per serving. Astonishingly, apples (Red Delicious and Granny Smith) were awarded 12th and 13th place in the USDAs list of the worlds best antioxidant foods.
In addition to the high concentration of antioxidants found in apples, they also contain a significant amount of a certain type of dietary fiber known as pectin. Coincidentally pectin is considered to be one of the very best fibers in terms of overall health.
Apples And Your Teeth
No, an apple a day doesnt mean you can put your toothbrush away, but when you bite into and chew on some apple, it stimulates saliva production. As strange as this might seem, saliva is one of the most powerful tooth decay preventing substances ever discovered.
Apples And Parkinsons
Parkinsons disease is essentially caused by a breakdown of the brain cells that are responsible for producing a substance known as dopamine. While it remains unclear why apples seem to reduce the risk of developing Parkinsons disease, scientists are inclined to believe that its the pectin/fiber content found in most apples.
Apples And Alzheimers
Astonishingly, a recent study has shown that regular consumption of fresh apple juice could possibly reduce the risk of developing this life destroying disease. Interestingly, a laboratory study has revealed that mice fed on an apple enhanced diet did far in maze tests compared to mice that had no apple at all.
Apples And Diabetes
One of the most recognized benefits of apples is the fact that they can reduce the risk of developing type II diabetes. In fact, studies have shown that just one apple per day can reduce your risk of Type II Diabetes by up to 28%. Unfortunately, these studies only involved women, but there is no reason to believe why it would be any different for men.
Apples And Cancer
All apples are generally loaded with a substance known as flavonol, and most scientists at the AACR (American Association of Cancer Research) believe that regular consumption of flavonol can reduce te risk of developing pancreatic cancer by as much as 28%. Scientists have also recently isolated several compounds found in apple peel that seem to inhibit the growth of cancer cells in the liver; breasts and colon…….the jury is still out.
Apples And Cholesterol
Nothing intriguing here Im afraid……just good old scientific evidence. The soluble fiber which is so plentiful in apples binds with unhealthy fats present in the intestines, and consequently leads to the efficient elimination of these harmful fats.
Apples And Heart Health
A vast amount of research which has been carried out over the course of many years has established that the soluble fiber present in apples can effectively slow down the buildup of plaque on arterial walls, thereby helping to prevent high blood pressure and other coronary diseases. A compound in the skin of apples known as phenolic can also prevent cholesterol from solidifying, which in turn also helps to reduce arterial plaque even further.
Apples And Gallstones
Another benefit of apples is the fact that they can effectively help to prevent the formation of gallstones. Gallstones are essentially solid chunks of cholesterol that form when you have too much cholesterol in your bile. While anyone can get gallstones, obese people are particularly vulnerable.
Apples And Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome typically causes people to feel bloated even though they have not overeaten, and it generally also causes stomach pain accompanied by either frequent constipation or frequent diarrhea. Doctors as well as holistic health practitioners recommend that people who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome should avoid or at least cut down on dairy products, and they should increase their daily fiber intake. Coincidentally, apples are a fantastic source of soluble dietary fiber.
Apples And The Liver
The liver is responsible for removing harmful toxins from the body, but sometimes it simply cannot keep up. As a result, many people, including myself, believe that it is necessary for us to assist the liver. This is generally known as a body detox regimen, and it usually takes the form of a special diet, or at the very least, a certain amount of diet modification. One of the best ways to detox your liver is to eat an abundance of fruit and vegetables that are rich in antioxidants and apples are right up there at the top of the list. In fact, if you search around online, youll even find a apple diet detox program.
Apples And Weight Loss
One of the easiest ways to lose weight is to begin eating foods that contain plenty of fiber. Fiber rich foods make you feel full quickly, and the effects are long lasts, thereby reducing the temptation to indulge in snacks. Next time you find yourself reaching for a chocolate, eat an apple first, and youll almost certainly find that you no longer want that chocolate. As an added bonus, you get to enjoy all the other benefits of apples at the same time.