An apple a day: 5 Reasons to eat more apples, a nutrient-rich superfruit
04/16/2022 / By Rose Lidell / Comments
An apple a day: 5 Reasons to eat more apples, a nutrient-rich superfruit

There’s truth to the old saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” In fact, studies have proven that nutritious apples have five amazing health benefits, including boosting your heart health and preventing cancer.

While apples are one of the most widely consumed fruits in America, they’re often underrated nutritionally. But apples are considered a superfood powerhouse for a reason.

Lowering the risk of chronic inflammation is essential to preventing diseases. And while this is possible if you have healthy eating habits and consume a lot of fruits and vegetables, research suggests that apples are especially helpful in reducing the risk of inflammation.

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In one study, researchers examined the phytochemicals found in apples and the health benefits they offer to determine why eating apples regularly can help fight disease.

Research shows apples are full of beneficial phytochemicals

Apples are full of phytochemicals. At least 22 percent of phenolics consumed by Americans are from apples, making them the largest source of phenolics in the American diet.

According to the study, increased flavonoid intake is linked to lower overall mortality, and apples are one of the flavonoid sources strongly associated with a decrease in mortality.

Additionally, apples are full of antioxidants. Compared to other fruits commonly consumed by Americans, apples have the second-highest antioxidant activity next to cranberries.

Apples also rank second in terms of total concentration of phenolic compounds. They have the highest amount of free phenolics among commonly consumed fruits. Because free phenolics aren’t bound to other compounds, they are easier to absorb.

Nutritional profile of apples

Apples are nutrient-dense fruits, meaning they provide a lot of nutrients per serving.

The current Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend two cups of fruit daily for a 2,000-calorie diet, emphasizing whole fruits like apples.

One medium seven-ounce (200-grams) apple contains 104 calories, 28 grams of carbs and five grams of dietary fiber.

The same serving also contains the following nutrients:

  • Vitamin C – 10 percent of the Daily Value (DV)
  • Copper – 6 percent of the DV
  • Potassium – 5 percent of the DV
  • Vitamin K – 4 percent of the DV

It also provides two to five percent of the DV for vitamins B1, B6 and E. Vitamin E is a fat-soluble antioxidant.

Vitamin B1 (thiamine) is essential for proper growth and development, while vitamin B6 has a key role in protein metabolism.

Apples are also full of polyphenols, an important group of antioxidants that protect cells from free radical damage linked to health problems like heart disease and cancer.

To get the most out of apples, wash them thoroughly and eat them with their skin on. Apple peel contains half of the fiber and most of the fruit’s polyphenols.

Health benefits of apples

Apples are full of antioxidant phytochemicals like flavonoids, carotenoids and phenolics, all of which help lower your risk of chronic disease.

Data has found that apples offer several benefits, such as:

Cancer prevention

Some studies have found that the plant compounds in apples help lower cancer risk. Researchers think that their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects are responsible for the fruit’s ability to prevent cancer.

Better heart health

The soluble fiber in apples helps lower cholesterol, and having one apple a day is nearly as effective as statins at reducing death due to heart disease. The polyphenols in apples are also linked to a lower risk of stroke.

Reduced diabetes risk

Research suggests that eating more apples is linked to a reduced risk of Type 2 diabetes.

Better bone health

The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds in apples can boost your bone health. According to studies, women who ate meals containing apple products lost less calcium than women who did not.

Protects against mental decline

Several studies have revealed that apples can protect against age-related mental decline, in turn preventing conditions like Alzheimer’s disease.

Incorporating apples into a balanced diet

Apples are a nutritious snack, and eating them regularly can protect you from various health problems.

As a bonus, the soluble fiber in apples can promote gut health and weight loss, making them the perfect snack if you’re trying to maintain a healthy weight.

Read on for more tips on how to cook tasty snacks and meals with apples:

  • Make scrumptious apple pie bread for breakfast.
  • Try baking apple-cinnamon muffins.
  • Impress dinner guests with baked cinnamon apple slices.
  • If you’re craving something sweet, whip up an apple custard cake.
  • Serve apple slices with nut or seed butter for a quick, tasty snack for the kids.
  • Make a one-pan, puffy apple Dutch baby pancakes.
  • Make an apple “sandwich.” Remove the center and seeds of an apple with a corer and slice the apple into rounds about half an inch thick. Spread one apple slice with nut or seed butter and sprinkle with granola or trail mix. Place another apple slice on top before serving.
  • Serve apple grilled sandwiches with butternut squash soup.
  • Prepare a refreshing apple, fennel and endive salad. Thinly slice two large apples, one bulb of fennel and three small endives. Squeeze half a lemon and add white balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Add chopped pecans before serving.
  • Make chicken mulligatawny with apples, a dish that combines apples with curry, chicken and coconut milk.
  • For something savory, make apple, bacon and sweet potato mini casseroles.
  • Make sweet potato, sausage and apple casserole for brunch or dinner.
  • Serve pork tenderloin with roasted apples and acorn squash for dinner.
  • Pare apples with wild rice to make wild-rice stuffing with apples and sausage.
  • If you’re looking for something vegan, try making sweet potato hash stuffed with portobello mushrooms and apples.

Snack on apples with their skin on to boost your bone, brain and heart health.

Sources:

NaturalHealth365.com

Healthline.com

EatingWell.com

HSPH.Harvard.edu

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