Updated: Nov 22, 2020
Feb 2, 2020
Apples are Nutritious
A medium apple — with a diameter of about 3 inches (7.6 centimeters) — equals 1.5 cups of fruit. Two cups of fruit daily are recommended on a 2,000-calorie diet.
Apples are a good source of fiber and vitamin C. A large apple provides about 10 mg of vitamin C (about 17 percent of the recommended daily value). Fruit-for-fruit, apples have about half the potassium of a banana.
Apples are also a rich source of polyphenols, which have antioxidant effects. While nutrition labels don't list these plant compounds, they’re likely responsible for many of the health benefits.
To get the most out of apples, leave the skin on, it contains half of the fiber and many of the polyphenols.
However, apples may cause problems for people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) because they contain FODMAPs, a wide category of fibers that cause digestive symptoms, including gas and abdominal pain, in some people.
Their fructose content may also be problematic for people with fructose intolerance.
Apples are high in fiber and water — two qualities that make them filling.
Researchers think that apples are more filling because they’re less energy-dense, yet still deliver fiber and volume, therefore they may aid weight loss.
Apples have been linked to a lower risk of heart disease.
Apples and pears were found to prevent stroke, according to Dutch researchers, in an article written in the American Heart Association Journal.
Their high level in soluble fiber helps lower cholesterol while their polyphenols are linked to lower blood pressure and stroke risk.
One of these polyphenols is the flavonoid epicatechin, which may lower blood pressure.
A Florida State study found that women 45 - 65, who started eating an apple a day, experienced a 23 percent drop in levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) and a 4% increase in good cholesterol (HDL) after 6 months.
Several studies have linked eating apples to a lower risk of type 2 diabetes.
Polyphenols in apples help prevent tissue damage to beta cells in your pancreas. Beta cells produce insulin in your body and are often damaged in people with type 2 diabetes. Even eating just a few apples per week has a similarly protective effect
Apples contain pectin, a type of fiber that acts as a prebiotic. This means it feeds the good bacteria in your gut. And a fiber-rich diet helps with better gastrointestinal health, aiding in regularity.
Your small intestine doesn't absorb fiber during digestion. Instead, it goes to your colon, where it can promote the growth of good bacteria. It also turns into other helpful compounds that circulate back through your body .
New research suggests that this may be the reason behind some of the protective effects of apples against obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.
Scientists believe that their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects may be responsible for their potential cancer-preventive effects .
Antioxidant-rich apples may help protect your lungs from oxidative damage.
A large study in more than 68,000 women found that those who ate the most apples had the lowest risk of asthma. Eating about 15% of a large apple per day was linked to a 10% lower risk of this condition.
Apple skin contains the flavonoid quercetin, which can help regulate the immune system and reduce inflammation. These are two ways in which it may affect asthma and allergic reactions.
Quercetin, the most abundant flavonoid in apples, has been found to modify inflammatory responses by inhibiting the release of prostaglandins, inflammatory compounds that results in pain. An apple a day keeps inflammation away! It may help calm psoriatic arthritis - related inflammation.
Eating fruit is linked to higher bone density, which is a marker of bone health.
Researchers believe that the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds in fruit may help promote bone density and strength.
Most research focuses on apple peel and flesh. However, apple juice may have benefits for age-related mental decline.
In animal studies, juice concentrate reduced harmful reactive oxygen species (ROS) in brain tissue and minimized mental decline .
Apple juice may help preserve acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that can decline with age. Low levels of acetylcholine are linked to Alzheimer's disease .
According to Ayurveda, a cooked apple is what actually keeps the doctor away as opposed to a raw one because it's warm and soft like soup. The fiber in the simmered apple aids your digestion to cleanse your system and eliminates impurities.
Cooked apples are much easier to digest than raw apples because your body does not have to expend as much energy to break down the fibrous cell walls.
HOW DO WE GET MORE APPLES IN OUR DIET ?
Beyond slicing or biting right into an apple as a snack, there are plenty of ways to get more of their crunchiness into our diets:
· Slice and use as a chip-like scoop for creamy dips, salads like tuna salad or chicken salad
· Add thin slices to a turkey sandwich or to top avocado toast.
· Slice into matchstick-thin pieces and add to your favorite slaw recipe.
· Create your no-sugar-added baked apple "chips" or dry them.
· Apple slices make a perfect mate for almond butter or peanut butter.
Here are two simple ways I enjoy an apple at least four times a week:
You may prefer your apple dry. There are also lots of health benefits of dried apples that you simply can not ignore. Branding them as nutritionally - lacking compared to their fresh fruit counterparts is simply a myth. Dried apples improve your health in a myriad of ways. Eating them regularly:
Keeps you satiated
Improves your gut health
Helps you metabolize more energy
Helps improve brain and nerve function
Fights off cellular damage
Regulate water balance and blood volume
Improve oxygen delivery in the body
Help keep you at your ideal healthy weigh (**)
The class of painkillers known as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can injure the lining of your stomach.
A study in test tubes and rats found that freeze-dried apple extract helped protect stomach cells from injury due to NSAIDs .
Two plant compounds in apples — chlorogenic acid and catechin — are thought to be particularly helpful .
Now we know why "eating an apple a day keeps the doctor away " :-)
and do remember,
the best time to wash the apple is immediately before eating or cooking it, not when it is brought home from the store. You should avoid washing and then storing produce because it creates a perfect, moist habitat for microbes to grow. This can also speed up the spoilage of produce by leaving it wet in the fridge.
Wash your fruits and vegetables with a vinegar solution to decrease bacteria and prevent any illness such as E. coli”.
To get rid of the pesticides on its skin, your best bet is to soak the apple in a baking soda solution — for 12 to 15 minutes.
also check out The Dirty Dozen and the Clean Fifteen, lists made by the Environmental Working Group that rank fruit and vegetables most and least likely to have pesticide residue.