12 Benefits Of Eating An Apple A Day
I remember my grandmother telling me that eating an apple a day will keep the doctor away. At that time, the truth of that statement did not really sink in for me. Apples are one of nature’s best secrets because they pack so many health benefits into one, sweet package. Whether you eat them alone or with yogurt, peanut butter or honey, having an apple a day will truly help you stay healthier (and keep more money in your pocket by lowering your healthcare costs).
Apples are packed with fiber and antioxidants, which makes them one of the healthiest foods that you can eat.
1. Reduce your risk of some cancers – Eating whole apples can help reduce the risk of some cancers including pancreatic, colon, liver and breast cancer. You should eat an entire apple, including the peel, to get the best benefits. Studies by the American Association for Cancer Research, Cornell University and the National Cancer Institute all recommend apples for reducing cancer risks.
2. Whiter teeth – Skip the chemical teeth whitening products and add an apple to your daily diet. The biting and chewing of apples stimulates the production of saliva to reduce the levels of bacteria to reduce tooth decay.
3. Weight control – Apples are high in fiber that helps you feel full so that you do not overeat. This helps you manage your weight or drop those extra pounds when combined with a healthy diet and regular exercise.
4. Have a healthier liver – Our livers help remove the toxins that we consume from our bodies. We need our livers to be as healthy as possible. One way to help our livers do their job and detoxify our livers is to eat fresh fruits – including lots of apples.
5. Prevent constipation and diarrhea – The fiber in apples also helps keep your colon healthy and reduce the symptoms associated with irritable bowel syndrome. Adding a serving of apples to your daily diet will help keep you regular while reducing the risk of colon cancer.
6. Apples are good for your heart – High soluble fiber intake slows the buildup of cholesterol-rich plaque thereby reducing your risk of heart disease. Make sure that you eat the apple skins so that you get the important phenolic compound contained in the skin that helps to prevent cholesterol from solidifying on artery walls.
7. Protect against Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s – New research is revealing a link between a diet rich in apples with a reduction in the risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Chemicals in the brain benefit from a diet rich in apples and apple juice.
8. Boost your immune system – Apples are rich in Vitamin C, a powerful natural antioxidant that will help boost your immune system to fight off a variety of illnesses and disease.
9. Strengthen red blood cells and nervous system – The B-complex in apples are a great way to help keep your nervous system healthy and maintain your red blood cell count.
10. Reduce risk of diabetes – Adding servings of apples to your daily diet can reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes when compared with people who do not eat apples as part of their regular diet.
11. Reduce the risk of stroke – Eating apples reduces your risk of thrombotic stroke according to research studies. You can easily add a serving of apples to your daily diet by adding them to salads, using them as a side dish or having them for dessert with some low-fat yogurt.
12. Improved mood – Eating apples helps to break down proteins into amino acids. These amino acids are essential in the release of serotonin, the brain chemical that helps us feel relaxed and elevates mood.
A few cautions about eating apples
Make sure that you wash apples very well before eating them to ensure that any pesticides used by producers are completely removed before eating. In addition, eating too many apple seeds can be poisonous so avoid eating the seeds when you add apples to your diet.
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Image credit: Shelin Graziela