We regularly reiterate that subsuming apples in our diet prevents illnesses and keeps the doctor at bay. I even have my own version, “an apple day broadens smiles for days.” There is no doubt that the original Welsh proverb is true and every health conscious person follows the simple command every day. Scientists too have been in and out of their labs assessing their health benefits. Farmers haven’t been left behind either, and statistics show that apples are one of the most cultivated fruits world over. But not everyone who consume apples know the magic that underlies this “miracle food.” Perhaps knowing a thing or two other than will help those who don’t consume apples to dig deep into their pockets and alter already filled up budget lists to include apples in daily diets.
Three things: antioxidants, dietary fiber, and flavonoids, should make you increase your trips to the market for apples. Apples contain antioxidants as well as phytonutrients that have a host of benefits. Phytonutrients or phytochemicals are like plant soldiers that tire themselves with the task of warding off bugs, fungi, and other threats. Although they might have an active role in keeping us alive, they sure play a huge role in preventing diseases and keeping the body in shape all the time. Key phytochemicals: carotenoids, flavonoids, ellagic acid, resveratrol, phytoestrogens, phloridzin, catechin, chlorogenic acid, and resveratrol, present the body with extra health benefits. Antioxidants vary depending on breed, maturation conditions, and ripening processes. Storage does not affect the phytochemicals much, but processing apples might lead to depletion of these life-preserving components.
Before diving into the different illnesses apples cure and prevent, it is important to state some of the essential nutrients that the “magic fruits” include. The nutritional powerhouses have vitamin C (a natural antioxidant needed to boost immunity and block radicals from causing damage), B vitamins (essential for maintaining the health status of nervous system and red blood cells), dietary fiber, and minerals such as phosphorus, calcium, and potassium. Eating apples with skin provides around 52 kcal of energy, 0.17 g of fat, 0.26 g of protein, 13.81 g of carbohydrates, 0.017 mg of Thiamin (vitamin B1), 0.026 of riboflavin (vitamin B2), 3 μg Vitamin A, 4.6 mg of vitamin C, 0.041 mg of vitamin B6, 27 μg of beta-carotene, 29 μg of Lutein and zeaxanthin, 1 mg of sodium, and 85 g of water. Each of the nutrients contained in the apples can form a topic length discussion.
Eating apples on a regular basis will lead to numerous health benefits. Quercetin has the capability to improve neurological health by reducing cellular death that comes about because of inflammation and oxidation of neurons. Further, apples can aid in protecting the neuron cells from neurotoxicity caused by oxidation. This is essential as it can reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease – a neurodegenerative disease. The cardiovascular system is another beneficiary of nutrients and other components contained in apples. Individuals susceptible to stroke can benefit largely from an apple inclusive diet. Increased intake of apples has been strongly associated with decreased rates of thrombotic stroke. Now, we all know that high levels of bad cholesterol could increase the risks of cardiovascular diseases. So taking apples comes as an antidote to the menace as they contain good cholesterol (HDL). Good cholesterol fight bad cholesterol and the results, for those who take apples regularly, can be evident within six months. In addition to that, the benefits extend to diabetic patients and research shows that apples can risk the chances of suffering from type 2 diabetes by 7%. Finally, my new version of the Welsh saying, “an apple a day keeps cancer away,” may be an interesting thing to reiterate throughout your day even as you struggle with a mouth full of an apple. It so happens that apples contain phenolics that assist in keeping abnormal cells in the body in check.