Apples are one of the most popular fruits. They come in many varieties and are rich in many important nutrients. Apples should be consumed on a daily basis if you want to stay healthy and control your weight. “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” is a well known old saying that points to benefits of this delicious fruit. Let’s find out more about apples and their health benefits.
Health Benefits of Apples
Apples are crisp fruits with white flesh and yellow, red or green skin. The apple tree belongs to Malus domestica species in the rose family. Apples have been consumed since the ancient times. The apple tree originates from Western Asia and today it is one of the most cultivated fruits worldwide.
Apples have low calorie value and are rich in vitamin C, fiber and antioxidants such as querticin, epicatechin and procyanidin B-2. Different compounds found in apples make this fruit excellent for fighting against many diseases and maintaining good health. Given below are some of the health benefits of apples.
Regular consumption of apples helps in reduction of LDL (bad) cholesterol due to their high soluble fiber content (pectin). Those who eat two apples per day can reduce their cholesterol by 10%. This is because pectin binds cholesterol and triglycerides helping the body eliminate them through the intestines before they get absorbed. The polyphenol content of apples also plays important role in lowering cholesterol, whilst quercitin prevents the oxidation of LDL cholesterol.
An anti-oxidant compound quercitin found in apples is highly effective against free radicals. Therefore, it prevents the changes in cells that can result in cancer. Since apples are rich source of flavonoids, regular intake of this fruit can reduce the risk of lung cancer by 50%. Apples also help in prevention of breast cancer, prostate cancer and liver cancer. The pectin in apples promotes functioning of the digestive system and lowers the risk of colon cancer.
Flavonoids in apples have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Apples help to regulate blood pressure and prevent too many blood platelets from sticking together and forming blood clots, which reduces the risk of arteriosclerosis, stroke and heart disease.
Blood Sugar Regulation
Apples are excellent in controlling diabetes due to their pectin content that supplies the body with galacturonic acid, which subsequently reduces the need for insulin. Also, according to some studies people who eat at least one apple a day have 28% less chance to suffer from type 2 diabetes.
Apple consumption helps in cleaning teeth and strengthening gum. Antiviral properties of apples keep bacteria away and prevent tooth decay.
Since apples are high in fiber, regular intake of the fruit promotes digestion. The apple skin is an excellent remedy for constipation.