Find out why an apple a day can actually help keep the doctor away.
It’s the right time of year again: apple picking season. There are several good reasons why you should fill out a basket.
Not only are apples a delicious addition to dishes, but they are also good for your health. Apples are associated with many health benefits. Including improving gut health and reducing the risk of stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, obesity and certain types of cancer.
A medium-sized apple is a good source of fibre. It contains 4.4 grams or 16% of the Daily Value (DV). Additionally, the same apples contain 8.4 milligrams of vitamin C, or more than 9% of the DV, along with small amounts of other vitamins and minerals.
You can add them to salads or cheesecake, make baked apples as a healthy dessert, or cook roast chicken with apples in the slow cooker for an easy lunch or dinner.
This is why the phrase “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” may have some truth to it.
1. Apple can lower cholesterol and blood pressure
Enjoy a juicy apple, it may just help keep your heart healthy. Studies have linked apple consumption to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. This effect may be related to the cholesterol-lowering benefits of the soluble fiber in apples. Soluble fiber dissolves in water to form a gel. Thus, soluble fiber helps prevent the accumulation of cholesterol in the blood vessel wall, thus reducing the incidence of atherosclerosis and heart disease. It can also help lower blood pressure. One study showed that a higher intake of soluble fiber was associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.
Regular consumption of apples (or pears) is associated with a 52% reduced risk of stroke. Additionally, a study published in February 2020 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that eating two apples a day helped study participants lower their LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
2. Eating high-fiber foods, including apples, can aid digestion
You may have heard that fiber is good for digestion. What you heard is true! Both types of fiber (soluble and insoluble, which means they cannot be absorbed from water) are important for digestion. Fortunately, apples contain both types of fiber. Soluble fiber slows down digestion, helping you feel full. Plus they also slow down the digestion of glucose, which helps control blood sugar levels. As for insoluble fiber, it can help move food throughout the body, fight constipation, and promote regularity.
Make sure to eat apple peel, which contains a lot of insoluble apple fiber.
3. Apples can support a healthy immune system
Who wouldn’t want a stronger immune system in the fall? Apples can be an important tool in your immune support group. A diet full of soluble fiber helped convert pro-inflammatory immune cells into immune system supportive and anti-inflammatory cells. A study published in November 2017 in the journal Nutrients found that vitamin C plays many roles in the functioning of the immune system. Notably by strengthening the epithelial barrier (a type of tissue) against pathogens and protecting against environmental oxidative stress.
4. Apples prevent and help control diabetes
If you have type 2 diabetes, consider adding apples to your diet. Sure, it’s a fruit, but it’s often mistakenly thought that diabetics can’t eat fruit. In this case, the soluble fiber in apples can help slow down the absorption of sugar into the blood and can improve blood sugar levels. A healthy diet that contains insoluble fiber may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Additionally, a study in type 2 diabetics published in August 2016 in Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine found that regular intake of soluble fiber helped reduce insulin resistance and improve levels of blood sugar, lipids, and triglycerides.
5. The antioxidants in apples may play a role in preventing cancer
Although there is no surefire way to prevent cancer, apples can play a role. Apples may reduce the risk of some types of cancer, which researchers say is linked to the antioxidants in apples. Research indicates that apples contain a very high level of antioxidants, and in laboratory studies, these antioxidants have been shown to limit the growth of cancer cells. A study published in October 2016 in the journal Public Health Nutrition showed that regular consumption of apples is associated with a reduced risk of some types of cancer. Including colorectal, oral, esophageal, and breast cancer.
Another study, published in January 2019 in The Lancet, found that a diet rich in dietary fiber may protect against colorectal and breast cancer.
6. Eating apples can promote healthy weight loss
A diet rich in fruits (and vegetables) can help you maintain a healthy weight. or weight loss. Since apples are high in dietary fiber, they are high on this list. Fiber slows digestion and increases blood sugar levels, keeping you full and reducing the risk of overeating. According to this study published in The Lancet, people who ate the most fiber weighed significantly less. Research shows that overweight women who ate three apples a day lost 1.22 kg after 12 weeks. With only 95 calories for a medium-sized apple, this fruit is the one you’ll want to keep on hand for sweet cravings.
7. Apples may help prevent Alzheimer’s disease
It’s time to eat more apples and other flavonoid-rich foods like berries and tea. A study published in August 2020 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that adults age 50 and older who consumed only a small amount of flavonoid-rich foods such as berries, apples, and tea were 2-4 times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease. and related dementias over a 20-year period than people who ate more foods rich in flavonoids.
Additionally, a study published in January 2020 in the journal Biomolecules found that quercetin, a flavonoid found in apples, protects neurons from oxidation. They also have other anti-Alzheimer’s properties.
* Presse Santé strives to impart medical knowledge in a language accessible to all. In no way can the information provided replace medical advice.
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