Apples are cheap, delicious, and come in a wide variety of different flavors (ranging from the very sour to the very sweet). As it turns out, they are also good for your body in a number of interesting ways, and so an apple a day may well indeed help to keep the doctor away. Read on to discover nine surprising and significant reasons why you should add more apples to your diet.
1) Apples may help to prevent breast and liver cancer:
Researchers at Cornell University have discovered that feeding female rats one apple each day reduces their risk of developing breast cancer by as much as 17%. Further, rats that eat three apples each day reduce their risk by 39%, and rats that eat six a day reduce their risk by 44%. Similar research has found that eating apple skin extract lowers the risk of liver cancer in rats by around 57%.
2) They reduce your chances of developing Alzheimer ’s disease:
Some recent research strongly suggests that apples may help to protect brain cells from the kind of damage that can lead to the development of Alzheimer’s disease It is thought that it is the quercetin in apples that helps to stop damage caused by free radicals and that this damage plays a role in your likelihood of suffering from forms of dementia.
3) They protect your bones:
Apples are the only fruits to contain a flavonoid called phloridzin, which several studies suggest increases bone density and reduce the risk of osteoporosis (a disease that makes bones easier to fracture). They also contain a chemical called boron, which has been shown to strengthen bones as well.
4) They help to maintain a healthy digestive system:
A recent study shows that rats that ate extracts from apple skins lowered their risk of developing colon cancer by around 43%. It is also thought that the pectin in apples is generally good for the whole digestive system (especially the digestive tract). It is a soluble fiber that makes stools softer, so it can reduce the risk of developing constipation problems.
5) They can lower your cholesterol levels:
The pectin in apples also helps to lower LDL cholesterol (known as ‘bad cholesterol’) by binding to it and then carrying it out of the intestines as waste. LDL cholesterol is lowered by as much as 16% in people who eat at least two apples each day.
6) They improve asthma symptoms:
Research has shown that children who have asthma suffer from less severe symptoms (such as wheezing) if they drink apple juice every day. Studies have also suggested that women who eat plenty of apples while they are pregnant go on to have children who are less likely to develop asthma. It is thought that apples influence asthma by way of the flavonoid called phloridzin (which lowers inflammation in the small structures within the lungs).
7) They help to prevent lung cancer:
One study of ten thousand people revealed that people who eat the most apples on a daily basis lower their risk of developing lung cancer by around 50%. It is speculated that this is because of the quercetin and naringenin contained in apples.
8) They may help you to lose weight:
One study by Brazilian scientists discovered that people who ate at least three apples (or pears) on a daily basis were able to lose more weight while dieting than those who did not eat apples or pears. This may owe to the fact that fruit, in general, helps us to feel fuller for longer while containing very few calories.
9) They help manage diabetes:
Apples lower your need for insulin because the pectin they contain supplies your body with galacturonic acid. This lower need for insulin seems to help with diabetes management.
Apples are one of the best fruits to have as snacks if you want to increase your intake of fruits and vegetables. Although most people enjoy the taste of an apple when eaten on their own, you can also use them in some creative recipes. Look into cooking them with pork or chicken, or try sprinkling some cinnamon onto slices of a fresh apple before you eat them.