Ever heard of the saying, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away?”. Well, there is a lot of truth in that short sentence. Apples are basically one of the most nutritious fruits available on earth. Not only are they quite common, they provide a vast array of benefits to the human body. In this article, we will highlight just ten of its numerous health benefits.
1. Weight Loss
Weight gain is associated with high amount of calories consumed in a day. Apples satisfy hunger for few calories. Therefore, it is not surprising that they can be part of a healthy diet that promotes weight loss. According to health experts, apples contain antioxidants and pectin (a type of fiber) which are responsible for the benefits. Apples are also fill up the stomach easily due to its high fiber and water content, despite being less energy-dense.
2. Cardiovascular Benefits
Apples are very good for the heart. They significantly lower the risk of death from both coronary heart disease and cardiovascular disease. Apples contain antioxidants which prevent stroke in human beings. These antioxidants also help in the prevention of LDL cholesterol from oxidizing and inhibit inflammation. Plus, the soluble fiber in apples has also been shown to lower cholesterol levels.
3. Blood Pressure
Apart from apples being linked to a lower risk of heart disease, they also contain polyphenols which have antioxidant effects. One of these polyphenols is a flavonoid called epicatechin. This particular flavenoid helps in lowering blood pressure significantly. Flavonoids can help prevent heart disease by lowering blood pressure, reducing LDL oxidation and acting as antioxidants.
According to several researches by scientists, apples have been linked to a reduction in the incidence of type 2 diabetes. In one of such study, eating an apple a day was linked to a 28% lower risk of type 2 diabetes as opposed to not eating any apples. Even eating just a few apples a week had a similarly protective effect. Diabetes prevention is possible due to the presence of polyphenols which help in the prevention of tissue damage to beta cells in the pancreas. This is helpful because the beta cells which produce insulin in people with type 2 diabetes is often damaged.
5. Lower Risk Of Alzheimer
Apple juice has been proven to fight the effects of aging of the brain. One of such effects is Alzheimer’s which is associated with memory loss in aged people. Apples help in preventing this from taking place. Apple juice reduces harmful reactive oxygen species (ROS) in brain tissue and minimized mental decline. It also helps in preserving acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that can decline with age. Low levels of acetylcholine are linked to Alzheimer’s disease. Despite my emphasis on apple juice, whole apples contain all the same compounds as apple juice.
6. Protect Against Parkinson’s Disease
Research has shown that people who eat apple and other high-fiber foods gain a certain amount of protection against Parkinson’s. This is a disease characterized by a breakdown of the brain’s dopamine-producing nerve cells. Scientists have linked this to the free radical-fighting power of the antioxidants contained in apples.
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7. Detoxify Your Liver
The human liver is constantly working to cleanse the body from a lot of toxins we consume daily. These toxins come from drinks and food, and our liver is responsible for keeping them away. However, it is also important to keep the liver healthy. This is one of the benefits of apples. It helps in effectively detoxifying the liver.
8. Help Bone Structure
Calcium is needed for healthy structure of the bones in the body. Apples contain antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. These properties are responsible for giving the bone a higher density. Higher bone density ensures we have healthy and strong bones. As we age, the bones also get weaker. However, the consumption of apples slows down this process effectively. There have been lots of significant studies to prove this.
9. Lower Blood Cholesterol
Apples contain pectin, a type of soluble fiber that has been linked to lower levels of LDL or “bad” cholesterol. It uses this to block the absorption of cholesterol, which helps the body to use it rather than store it. This in turn lowers the blood cholesterol levels. They also contain polyphenols, which have antioxidant effects. Many of these are concentrated in the peel. A study by nutrition experts compared the effects of eating an apple a day to taking statins, which are a class of drugs known to lower cholesterol.
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10. Cancer Prevention
The presence of anti-oxidants in apples also benefits in cancer prevention. Researchers have conducted research with various conclusions pointing to this fact. Apples are beneficial in reducing the risk of cancer in humans.
After all this being said, it is obvious that apples present a wide range of health benefits. It is essential to consume them.