Health Benefits of Apples
There’s a saying that goes “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”. For a long time, people have been discussed the numerous benefits found in apples.
There are many varieties of apples that come in different colors such as red, yellow and green. Moreover, scientists have recently indicated that some of the key health benefits of this fruit may come directly from their ability to impact bacteria living in the gut. Though native to Central Asia where they first originated from, they are now grown all around the world.
We’ve gathered together the top 5 benefits of apples that make them a great addition to your diet.
1. Packed with Essential Vitamins and Minerals
Apples contain lots of nutrients that can have a positive impact on your health when eaten regularly. It’s even better to eat the fruit in its dehydrated form as a convenient way of reaching your daily recommended fruit dosage which is approximately 2 cups for men and 1-1/2 cups for women. Since dried fruit shrinks in volume significantly during the dehydration process, it can provide a rich source of vitamins and nutrients for your diet and generally contribute to better health.
Apples contain some amount of vitamin C and vitamin A which keep the skin supple and bones strong. They also have several B vitamins that support metabolism and generally supplement your liver and dermis. A single half-cup serving contains 6% of your required daily vitamin B-6 needs, as well as 3% of B-5. Both of these vitamins help the body produce neurotransmitters required for proper brain function.
Moreover, each half-cup serving has about 4% of your required potassium dosage, a mineral responsible for fostering proper brain and nerve function. Dehydrated apples also have large amounts of iron, approximately 8% of the recommended daily dosage for men or 3% for women. This mineral also helps in the formation of new red blood cells that transport fresh blood oxygen around the body for nourishment. Apples also provide small quantities of other minerals like manganese, selenium, and copper.
2. Promotes Weight Loss
There are two main properties of apples that give them their weight-loss benefits, they contain lots of fiber and are also low in density. Both of these attributes have been scientifically shown to reduce calorie intake while significantly minimizing fat gain in the long-term. In one controlled study, women who took 300 grams of apples per day lost about 2.9 pounds over a 3 months period. For this reason, eating apples regularly can be useful as a weight loss booster, particularly when eaten before meals.
3. Improves Digestive System
When consumed whole together with the skin, apples provide a great source of insoluble fiber, particularly the one known as cellulose which is also found in the cell plant walls of whole grains, vegetables, legumes, and fruits. Insoluble fiber naturally doesn’t dissolve in water, meaning that it adds bulk to your stool which consequently helps prevent constipation. The nutrient keeps food moving inside your digestive system which helps relieve malabsorption.
Additionally, apples contain a unique type of fiber called pectin which slows down digestion by drawing water and forming a type of gel which ultimately helps create a feeling of fullness. For this reason, the fruit is highly recommended for those who want to shed excess fat or have a problem with loose bowel movements.
4. Combats Alzheimer’s Disease
Apples contain a powerful antioxidant molecule called quercetin which protects the brain cells from deterioration that causes Alzheimer’s Disease. Scientists also found that red flavonoids found in this ingredient have potent neuroprotective properties. Another new study indicates that drinking apple juice regularly can help improve memory by preventing the decline of the essential neurotransmitter agent acetylcholine. These chemicals are released by nerve cells that transmit messages across the nerve endings.
They are crucial for maintaining good memory and improving brain function. Past studies have also shown that increasing acetylcholine levels inside the brain can prevent mental decline. Antioxidants found in apples have also been found to boost memory. Those who drink apple juice more often perform better when learning new concepts than others. They have better concentration levels and usually perform well when being taught in a class. The recommended amount of apple juice for preventing Alzheimer’s Disease is two 8-ounce glasses per day or eating two whole apples.
5. Prevents Diabetes & Anemia
Blood sugar management is essential for individuals suffering from diabetes. Apples are rich in polyphenols which have been linked to reducing uptake of negative carbs by the body. This helps reduces fluctuation in blood sugar levels inside the bloodstream, an important factor for keeping diabetes in check. However, things don’t just stop there as polyphenols also lower glucose absorption rates in the digestive tract. Consequently stimulating the release of the insulin hormone from the pancreas which is necessary for keeping blood sugar amounts in check.
Additionally, polyphenols stimulate insulin receptors on body cells to fast-track the removal of sugar from the circulatory system into tissues where they are needed most for metabolism and better organ functionality. Apples are considered one of the most effective foods for treating diabetes. Moreover, they help improve the general function of bacteria living inside the large intestine and also improve metabolism within the gut. This leads to enhanced health by improving nutrient uptake and removing harmful microorganisms as well as toxins.
Anemia is caused by iron deficiency in the blood, something that can easily be reversed by eating a sufficient amount of apples every day. The mineral plays an important role in the metabolism of red blood cells. By increasing your daily amount of iron, you will not only help prevent anemia but also ensure sufficient oxygenation of various organs to keep them functioning well. Being a rich source of iron, apples are useful for treating anemia and other related diseases.
Doctors recommended that the best fiber dosage for adults is about 30-40 grams per day. Therefore, substituting your junk food with apples can help a lot with avoiding calorie buildup while also reaching the daily fiber requirements. The fruit may either be eaten whole or together with other food like salads, sandwiches, and cereal.
Some studies also show mild improvements in certain types of cancer for those who eat apples regularly, including breast, colon and lung cancer. While it can be consumed in many different ways, the dehydrated form is even better as it packs in more nutrients.