Apples are the most cultivated fruits worldwide. Their consumption rate is also high. What many people do not know is that the old proverb about fruit in a day might be right. It is important to acquaint yourself with the health benefits an apple can befit to you. In today’s world, an apple ranks first as a medically healthy food. Apples harbor antioxidants in abundant. Antioxidants serve to neutralize free radical hence preventing damage to cells.
Even so, apples are not an abundant source of Vitamin C. They are rich in phenolic acids and flavonoid. These phytonutrients equate taking fruits such as oranges for Vitamin C. Both the antioxidant and phytonutrient properties of an apple are essential in the prevention of hypertension, cancer, diabetes, heart diseases and obesity.
Some of the reasons why eating apples are good for you includes;
Improvement of Neurological Health
Quercin is an antioxidant found in apples. A recent study that got published in the Experimental Biology and Medicine journal 2006 showed that quercin helps reduce cellular death. Cellular death may result due to oxidation and inflammation of the neurons. Another study At Cornell University has shown that quercin, found in apples protects mice from developing Alzheimer’s disease. The study also proved that consumption of apple juice leads to increased production of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter in the brain. Acetylcholine enhances improved memory for mice having Alzheimer’s symptoms.
Lowering the Levels of Bad Cholesterol
High levels of flavonoids in an apple prevent the oxidation of cholesterol. Flavonoids also prevent the clumping of platelets. Thus, reducing the chances of a heart attack due to high levels of cholesterol. Also, pectin in apples lowers bad cholesterol levels in the body. It is advisable to take at least two apples in a day. The apple helps decrease high levels of cholesterol to about sixteen percent. Increased intake of apples also lowers the risks of stroke. Those people who take a lot of apples for the past thirty years has a lower rate of exposure to stroke. Researchers have concluded; consumption of apples results in reduced exposure to thrombotic stroke.
Pectin in apples serves to dispense galacturonic acid. Galacturonic acid lowers the body’s requirements for insulin. Thus, an apple helps to manage diabetes. Studies have also shown that consumption of at least three apples per week reduces the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Incorporation of an apple in other fruits such as grapes, blueberries and pear lower the risk by seven percent.
Prevention of Cancer
Research has shown that continuous intake of apples or their extracts have helped ward off lung, breast, liver, and colon cancer. A study proved that out of ten thousand people, those who consume apples more often, have a fifty percent reduced risk to lung cancer. The plenty amounts of flavonoid quercin and naringin in apples have helped lower the risk.
A study at Cornell University showed that mice that fed on one apple per day had seventeen percent reduced risk to breast cancer. Those that took two apples had thirty-nine percent reduced risk to breast cancer whereas, those that took at least six apples per day had a forty-four percent lowered risk to breast cancer. Therefore, the more the apples, the less the risk of developing breast cancer.
Researchers found out that rats fed on skin extracts from an apple had forty-three percent reduced risk for developing colon cancer. Pectin in apples also has proved to reduce the development of colon cancer and Thus, helps maintain a healthy digestive system. More so, researchers have shown that apple skin extracts reduce the chances of developing liver cancer by fifty-seven percent.
Studies have shown that children with asthma who took apple juice mostly, exhibited less wheezing compared to those who did not take apple juice often. A Child who is born by a woman who fed on plenty of apples during gestation has fewer chances of developing asthma. However, children whose mothers never had an apple diet has a high risk of developing asthma.
Eating an apple before having a heavy meal helps on to lose weight. An apple fills you up hence a satisfying feeling. By this, it serves to regulate the number of calories absorbed from the ingested food. Therefore, prevents the accumulation of excess bad cholesterols in the body.
For maximum nutritional and health benefits from an apple, they should be taken raw when fresh. They can also be blended, dried or even cooked. A cloudy apple juice warrants a high concentration of antioxidants. The apple should be cleaned and consumed with its skin. Hence, increasing its cancer-fighting strength.