While the apple might have been the ‘Forbidden Fruit’ in biblical times, its popularity and reputation have grown by astronomical proportions since then. The health benefits of the fruit are so wide ranging that it led J.T. Stinson to coin the ever popular phrase “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” at the St. Louis World Fair in the year 1904.
Interesting and Essential Apple Facts
Apples fit in to the Rose family and thus share a common lineage with a number of other popular fruits namely plums, apricots, cherries, pears and peaches. The discovery of the fruit is credited to Alexander the Great, while the advancements of cultivation of different breeds of apples were carried out in Europe during the Roman era.
Sweet, juicy and heavily packed with nutrients, apple is perhaps the most extensively cultivated tree fruit in the world today. It is not only consumed raw, but also used as an ingredient in many dishes such as pies, cakes, crumbles etc. Apple pulp is processed in different ways to produce products such as sauce, jam, jelly, and cider.
Health Benefits of Apples
|Apples on an apple-tree|
It only goes without saying that including apples into your daily diet will auger well for your health. Here are some of the more prominent health benefits of the tree fruit:
Strengthening of Bones: Post menopause; women tend to be more susceptible to osteoporosis. This physical condition weakens the bones from the inside. Apples have always been considered a good nutrient provider in such cases. However, it’s only now that researchers have begun to understand why. Apples have a flavanoid called ‘phloridzin’ as well as the mineral boron in them, both of which provide the necessary shielding effect against osteoporosis.
Lower Asthma Risk: Two different studies have shown the positive effect of the tree fruit in decreasing asthma risks in children. One showed how children consuming apple juice once a month were less likely to wheeze. The second study outlined the far fetching effects of the fruit in that mothers who consumed healthy amounts of apples were more likely to give birth to children with lower asthma risks than mothers who didn’t.
Lipid Management: Apples contain pectin, a water-soluble fiber content, which is known to reduce total cholesterol levels in a person. Furthermore, the unique blend of phytochemicals present in apples produce a beneficial effect in the body called ‘lipid peroxidation’, which helps keep chronic heart complications at bay.
|Potential health benefits of apple consumption|
Blood Sugar Regulation: Polyphenols in apples accomplish sugar regulation in different ways. The basic reductions are seen in the amount of carbohydrate and glucose being absorbed into your bloodstream. In addition, these polyphenols also stimulate insulin receptors to move the sugars out of the blood stream and into the cells. Together, all these aspects help regulate the amount of blood sugar in your body.
Anti Cancer Effect: Even though the results might be preliminary, apples benefits with regard to cancer prevention are truly encouraging. Apart from featuring as a risk lowering food for colon and breast cancer, apples are now said to provide the same protection against lung cancer.
Anemia: Apples are a good source of iron. So, if you have anemia, an iron deficiency condition then it would serve you well to eat at least 2-3 medium sized apples every day.
Digestion and Weight Loss: Even though apples aren’t chart toppers in terms of dietary fiber source, they do however provide an adequate amount of the same. Furthermore, apples are good energy sources. Therefore, the fruit performs quite nicely in terms of increasing metabolism and replenishing lost energy.Tags: apple, cancer, dietary fiber, fruit, health, Irritable bowel syndrome