Nine reasons why you should be eating apples

January 03, 2017

There’s an old saying that “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”.  Are those just words used to try to get people to eat more fruit – or could there be more to it than that?

In fact, the health benefits of eating apples are many, making them one of nature’s perfect foods. Here’s a look at some of the reasons why you should include apples in your diet on a regular basis:

1. Source of antioxidants[1] – apples are a source of antioxidants, scavengers of high energy particles in the human body that can damage cells, which mean they can help fight common ailments like inflammation, diabetes, and cancer.

2. Preventing Alzheimer’s – research has suggested that eating apples could fight the effects of aging on the brain and play a role in reducing the risk of neurodegenerative disorders like dementia or Alzheimer’s disease[2]. Apples contain quercetin which has been shown to protect brain cells from degeneration[3].

3. Reducing stroke risk – a study in Finland found that increased apple consumption is related to a lower risk of stroke[4]. Apples are high in potassium, which is a mineral that helps control blood pressure[5].

4. Curbing cancer – apples are rich in flavonol, which could help reduce the risk of pancreatic cancer by up to 23 per cent. Cornell University researchers have found that the apple peel contains compounds that can inhibit cancer cell growth in the liver, colon and breast[6].

5. Decreasing diabetes – The risk of developing Type-2 diabetes can be reduced by up to 23 per cent by eating at least two servings a week of certain whole fruits, like apples, compared to eating less than one serving per week. That’s according to a study led by the Harvard School of Public Health.[7]

6. Source of fibre – apples are an excellent source of fibre, which is an essential part of our diet. A high fibre intake can help keep your digest system functioning regularly, as well as ward off unpleasant experiences like abdominal pain, bloating, constipation, and diarrhea, which can also be symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome[8].

7. Valuable vitamins – apples are high in vitamin C, and are also a source of vitamins A and B-complex vitamins such as riboflavin (vitamin B2), thiamin (vitamin B1), and pyridoxine (vitamin B6). Vitamin C is necessary for the development and repair of body tissue like bones, blood vessels and skin. Vitamin A is important for normal vision, reproduction and a healthy immune system, as well as proper function of organs like heart, lungs and kidneys. B vitamins help the body produce energy and form red blood cells.

8. Cholesterol buster – apples are packed with pectin, which is a soluble fibre that can reduce cholesterol by preventing it from building up in your blood vessels. This lowers the risk of atherosclerosis and heart disease.

9. They’re just really yummy! – Apples taste great, whether as fresh fruit, in sauces, or as pie, strudel, turnover, crisp or other baked goods. They can also be enjoyed in flavourful liquid form as sweet or hard apple ciders.

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[1] http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/267290.php

[2] http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/267290.php and http://www.besthealthmag.ca/best-eats/nutrition/15-health-benefits-of-eating-apples/

[3] http://www.readersdigest.ca/food/healthy-food/7-health-benefits-apples/

[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10822289

[5] http://www.readersdigest.ca/food/healthy-food/7-health-benefits-apples/2/

[6] http://www.besthealthmag.ca/best-eats/nutrition/15-health-benefits-of-eating-apples/ and http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/145087.php

[7] https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130829214603.htm

[8] http://www.besthealthmag.ca/best-eats/nutrition/15-health-benefits-of-eating-apples/