If eating an apple a day sounds like an old, out of date saying, according to study after study on apples, it’s actually very true. Apples are one of the least expensive, simplest snacks, and yet they are loaded with health benefits. These health and dental benefits from all kinds of apples have been proved time and again. But while they are good for us, what they actually do is still a mystery. Do they have lots of vitamins? Do they clean teeth? What exactly do they do that makes them such a superfood?
Apples actually serve many purposes, but here are some of the most convincing ways that apples keep you healthy.
They are great for your teeth.
Apples are one of just a few foods that are actually good for your teeth. Many studies have shown that tooth decay can be prevented by regularly eating apples.
According to a report by Best Health magazine, apples help cleanse your mouth properly. When you bite into an apple, it increases the production of saliva in your mouth. As you chew, the extra saliva reduces tooth decay by lowering the levels of bacteria.
Apples are rich in antioxidants.
In 2004, a study was done on over 100 foods, studying their antioxidant levels. The Red Delicious and Granny Smith apples ranked 12th and 13th in that study. This means they are full of disease fighting compounds also known as antioxidants. Antioxidants help prevent and repair cell damage. Antioxidants are so powerful that vitamin manufacturers have even started selling antioxidant boosting pills. Apples are a cheap, easy way to get your antioxidants.
Apples help prevent Alzheimer’s.
A study by Cornell University on mice showed that drinking apple juice can help fight the signs of aging on the brain. The mice were given an apple enhanced diet and showed an increase in levels of acetylcholine, which is a neurotransmitter. Neurotransmitters are essential for keeping your brain alert and focused.
Apples protect against Parkinson’s disease.
Parkinson’s disease is a breakdown of the brain’s dopamine-producing nerve cells. Researchers have shown that the power of the antioxidants in apples help fight this disease. A diet high in lots of fruits, vegetables and fiber has shown to offer protection from Parkinson’s disease.
Apples are caner fighters.
A recent study by the American Association for Cancer Research, concluded that the consumption of flavonol-rich apples could help reduce your risk of developing pancreatic cancer by up to 23%. Cornell University goes a step further with scientists there identifying several compounds—triterpenoids—in apple peel that have potent anti-growth properties against cancer cells in the liver, colon and breast. In research they performed earlier, they found that extracts from whole apples can reduce the number and size of mammary tumors in rats. The National Cancer Institute in the U.S. backs these findings and recommends a high fiber diet to reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.
Reduce your cholesterol with apples.
Apples are filled with a soluble fiber called pectin. Pectin binds with the fats in the intestines, which works to lower your LDL, or bad cholesterol. Eating two apples a day has shown to lower your cholesterol by as much as 16%.
Apples reduce your risk of diabetes.
Research has shown that women who ate at least one apple a day reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by as much as 28%. The high amount of soluble fiber in apples, also helps curve blood sugar drops and spikes.
Apples help your heart.
The high soluble fiber content in an apple is also good for your heart. Apples have a phenolic compound which helps prevent cholesterol that gets into your system from solidifying on your artery walls. This is important because when plaque builds up on your arteries it reduce the blood flow to your heart. Over time this can translate into coronary artery disease.
Apples help you avoid gallstones.
Gallstones form as a result of too much cholesterol in your system for it to move bile through effectively. When this happens, it solidifies and creates a gallstone. To prevent these painful stones from happening, doctors recommend a diet high in fiber and what better way to get that fiber than from an apple. Plus, a diet rich in fruits and vegetables also keeps your weight in check which will also help with preventing gallstones.
Apples can help with controlling asthma.
If your child suffers from asthma, apple juice may help. Studies have shown that children diagnosed with asthma shown less wheezing when they drank a glass of apple juice a day. On a related note, children whose mothers ate apples every day during pregnancy showed a marked decrease in the incidence of asthma than the children whose mothers did not eat apples.
We have known for years that fruits and vegetables are the keys to staying healthy and preventing disease. Apples are one of the most versatile and easily consumed foods available. So the next time you see that big bin of apples at the store, think of all the health benefits that eating just one a day can bring and grab a big bag of them.