Ever heard this? “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.”
Did you know it can be true?! As you can imagine, apples and other fruits are very beneficial to our well-being. But the exact health benefits of apples are often overlooked. Check out these nine little-known health facts about apples.
8 Health Benefits of Apples
#1 – Apples boost immunity. Vitamin C is essential in keeping the immune system strong. Though apples don’t quite compare to citrus fruits, they still contain a substantial amount of vitamin C that helps boost the immune system. On medium-sized apple typically contains about 14% of the daily recommended intake of vitamin C.
#2 – Apples boost brain power. Apples are rich in antioxidants, which have been linked to an increase in acetylcholine production. This stimulates the communication between nerve cells and may help to increase memory as well as lower the chance of developing Alzheimer’s.
#3 - Apples keep you slim. The skin of an apple contains fiber, which aids metabolism, and something called ursolic acid. Ursolic acid was recently found to lower the chance of obesity by increasing the rate of calories burned caused by the acid, and an increase in muscle.
#4 – Apples keep you full. Apples contain a large amount of fiber, which stays in our bodies longer than substances like sugars or grains. Because of this, apples can help you avoid cravings or snacking throughout the day, and avoid extra calories.
#5 – Apples keep you breathing. One of the antioxidants found in apples, called quercetin, has been linked with a lower risk of respiratory problems. One 2007 study even found that women who eat apples have less chance of having kids with asthma.
#6 – Apples lower risk of cancer. In 2004, a study was conducted that found a specific chemical in apples that may help prevent colon cancer. In addition, a different study done in 2007 found that apples contained compounds called triterpenoids, which are effective in fighting off colon, lung and liver cancer.
#7 – Apples lower risk of diabetes. Anthocayans are a class of antioxidants found in apples, blueberries and pears. These nutrients are responsible for the red, blue and green colors of the fruits, and were found in a study this year to decrease the chance of developing type 2 diabetes.
#8 – Apples lower cholesterol. One of the fibers that apples contain is called pectin. Pectin is a soluble fiber that blocks the absorption of cholesterol, allowing the body to use the cholesterol instead of storing it and lowering cholesterol levels.
An Apple a Day Keeps the Dentist Away, Too
The ninth fact about apples is that they are sometimes called “nature’s toothbrush.” This is because apples are chewy, thus stimulating the flow of saliva. Saliva helps neutralize the acidity of the mouth, wash away food particles and kill bacteria that could cause cavities. However, apples are not a substitute for tooth brushing as they also contain a considerable amount of acid which could contribute to erosion of the enamel if you are not careful. Be sure to drink some water or brush your teeth after eating apples to avoid this happening.
Apples are a healthy choice and a great source of nutrients. Next time you’re in the mood for a snack, grab an apple, and take a step toward a healthier lifestyle.