The apple is an extraordinary fruit with a storied past. In biblical times , the apple was the “forbidden fruit”. Yet from a nutritional point of view it is a gift from above.
Apples are a high source of rich nutrients incredibly good for you and your health. 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.
Apple is one of the most consumed fruits in the world. Why is that? It’s definitely for its wonderful sweet taste and juicy composition. It’s also definitely because of its conscious and unconscious health benefits.
You surely have felt the positive effects of eating an apple shortly after. Apples are rich in different nutrients such as antioxidants, flavonoids, and fiber.
Apples fit into the Rose family and thus share a common lineage with a number of other popular fruits namely plums, apricots, cherries, pears, and peaches. Some credit the discovery of the fruit to Alexander the Great, while the evolution of cultivation of different breeds of apples was 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. This fruit is 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
Apple consumption leads to a wide range of health benefits. Some vitamins and minerals that are found in apples are Vitamin C – a powerful antioxidant, potassium and Vitamin K. Apples also contain around 2-4% of RDI of Vitamins A, E and B’s.
Apple’s health benefits include cancer, blood pressure, blood sugar, and heart protection. However, this fruit serves many more health purposes.
Let’s have a look at 7 main health benefits of apples:
Strengthen your bones
Apples have a nutrient that makes them great for bone health. Polyphenols in apples play a big part in bone metabolism and bone health.
Along with these, apples contain another two nutrients made for caring for your bones: phloridzin and boron. These strong nutrients fight the good fight against bone damage and especially against osteoporosis.
When we reach middle age, we all become more vulnerable to osteoporosis. Women who have gone through menopause are also more prone to this bone damaging condition. Thankfully, these beautiful and rounded fruits help lower the chances of developing this issue.
Lower Asthma Risk
Apples have a possible big contribution to lowering the risk of asthma. Two different studies demonstrated the positive effects of the tree fruit in decreasing asthma risks in children.
One of the studies showed how children consuming apple juice once a month were less likely to wheeze. The second study outlined the amazing effects of the fruit for mothers who consumed it. Women who ate healthy amounts of apples before and during pregnancy were more likely to give birth to children with lower asthma risks than mothers who didn’t.
All present and future parents out there – keep in mind how much apples are worth for your child’s health!
Provide Cholesterol and Heart Protection
These red or green scrumptious fruits contain pectin, a water-soluble fiber, which is known to reduce total cholesterol levels in a person. Furthermore, the unique blend of phytochemicals present in apples produces a beneficial effect in the body called ‘lipid peroxidation’. This chemical helps keep chronic heart complications at bay.
Apples are a truly strong fighter against cholesterol and heart problems. Maybe the saying “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” really has some truth to it.
Help Regulate Blood Sugar
Apples will do their best to regulate your blood sugar. All you need to do is add them to your daily or bi-daily diet.
Apples have a component called polyphenol, which is always successful in balancing blood sugar. 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 into your cells. Together, all these aspects help regulate the amount of blood sugar in your body.
Cancer is still a tough disease to fight against, worldwide. Apples, fortunately, provide support in the fight against cancer and in the prevention of this disease. The antioxidants and phenolics in apples are powerful components that can help in cancer treatment and prevention.
Apples are a good source of iron. Popeye should have definitely had some apples along his old time classic spinach diet. If you have anemia, an iron deficiency condition, then we recommend you have at least 2-3 medium sized apples every day.
Digestion and Weight Loss
Apples aren’t chart-toppers in terms of being a dietary fiber source, but they are rich in it and you’ll be too after eating some. Even more, apples are really good energy sources.
An apple a day doesn’t only keep the doctor away it also keeps you up and running throughout the day. Keep your metabolism and energy levels in good shape by having apples often.
Aren’t apples just extraordinary? These beautiful, tasty and juicy fruits sure know how to make their way to our hearts. Slice them up or grab one right out of your fruit bowl and munch away.
Apple Fun Facts
- Some apple trees can play “Hard to get” – While a small apple tree may have its first fruit between two and three years, larger apple tree might take between five to seven years.
- Despite taking their time to produce their first fruit, when they do, they produce plenty! In the right environment a well-maintained apple tree will thrive. A matured apple tree might produce between three to six bushels of fruit. A semi-matured tree will fruit between six to ten bushels of apples.
- Apple cider has a lot of squeezed apples in it – around 42 of them for one gallon of cider.
Apple Treat Ideas
Apples are easy to incorporate in any recipes! It’s like they fit in with any dish and any dessert.
You can use these amazingly tasty fruits for a variety of plates and treats. Apple pies, apple toffees, apple crisp, crème Brûlée and even chicken or pork with apple slaw. Ideas for apple recipes are endless and boundless. For a wonderful apple cookbook, check out Amy Traverso’s “The Apple Lover’s Cookbook”.
Now that you know all the health benefits of apples, you have no excuse to keep them away from your diet. Keep yourself healthy and give yourself a sweet treat with these wonderful fruits.
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