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Vitamins and Minerals

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NUTRITIONAL AND HEALTH BENEFITS OF APPLE


Apples are a crisp, white-fleshed fruit with a red, yellow or green skin. Apples have a moderately sweet, refreshing flavor and a tartness that is present to greater or lesser degree depending on the variety. Apples are continuously being praised as a "miracle food" and “power food”. Apples deserve to be called "nutritional powerhouses". Because apples have surprising nutritional benefits that justify the “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” “Eat an apple on going to bed, and you’ll keep the doctor from earning his bread” adages. A collection of research studies suggests that apples may well be one of the best foods people should add to their diet. Here are some of apples' nutritional facts and health benefits:

22 NUTRITIONAL AND HEALTH FACTS OF APPLE


1. Straight up Nutrition

Apples deserve to be called "nutritional powerhouses". A typical apple (4 grams per medium apple) has about 80 calories, 20 grams of carbohydrate, 5 grams of fiber, 0 grams of fat and 0 grams of protein. While the potassium level is relatively low at 170 mg, the sodium level is zero, so the potassium - sodium ration is favorable.  Apples contain the following important nutrients:
  • Vitamin C - a powerful natural antioxidant capable of blocking some of the damage caused by free radicals, as well as boosting the body's resistance against infectious agents,
  • B-complex vitamins (riboflavin, thiamin, and vitamin B-6) - these vitamins are key in maintaining red blood cells and the nervous system in good health.
  • Dietary fiber - the diet high in fiber can help prevent the development of certain diseases and may help prevent the amount of bad cholesterol in your blood from rising.
  • Phyto-nutrients - apples are rich in polyphenolic compounds". These Phyto-nutrients help protect the body from the detrimental effects of free radicals.
  • Minerals such as calcium, potassium, and phosphorus.

2. Apples make your teeth, healthier

Biting and chewing one stimulates the gums, and increased flow of saliva, which reduces tooth decay by lowering the level of bacteria in the mouth. Apple is crunchy to eat and has abrasive qualities which fights stains on your teeth.

3. Apples fight Alzheimer’s

Apple could keep Alzheimer’s away and fight the effects of aging on the brain. The fruit has been linked to an uptick in acetylcholine production, which communicates between nerve cells, so apples may help your memory and lower your chances of developing Alzheimer's.

4. Improve neurological health

Apples are good for neurological health. Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system. Research has shown that people who eat fruits and other high-fibre foods gain a certain amount of protection against Parkinson’s.
According to research that people who ate the most apples over a 28-year period had the lowest risk for stroke. The fruit contains an antioxidant called "quercetin" which reduces cellular death caused by oxidation and inflammation of neurons.

5. Apples fight all sorts of cancers

Apples may fight cancer, According to research the consumption of flavonol-rich apples could help reduce your risk of developing pancreatic cancer by up to 23 per cent. Additional compounds, called triterpenoids, which seem to fight against liver, colon, and breast cancers. Flavonoids, a chemical present in apples can help destroy lung cancer cells. However, you must make sure that you do not peel the apple, since most of the flavonoids compounds, called triterpenoids are present in its skin.

6. Decrease the risk of diabetes

One group of researchers discovered that women who ate at least one apple a day were 28 percent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those who ate none. Apples are loaded with soluble fibre, the key to blunting blood sugar swings. Helps control insulin levels by releasing sugar slowly into the bloodstream. Apples are a nutritious food and you can still eat them even if you have type 2 diabetes.

7. Apples fight high cholesterol

A medium apple provides five grams of fibre more than most cereals. Apples are low in calories and high in the soluble fiber pectin, which helps lower artery-damaging LDL blood cholesterol levels. That's because it blocks absorption of cholesterol, which helps the body to use it rather than store it.

8. Apples Protect Your Heart

Apples provide a source of potassium which may promote heart health. Researchers found that apples were associated with a lower risk of death from both coronary heart disease and cardiovascular disease. The phenolic compound found in apple skins also prevents the cholesterol that gets into your system from solidifying on your artery walls. When plaque builds inside your arteries, it reduces blood flow to your heart, leading to coronary artery disease. Pectin, a soluble fibre present in apples helps in absorbing cholesterol and thus reduces the chances of your arteries getting blocked.

9. Reduce intestinal disorders

Irritable bowel syndrome is characterized by constipation diarrhea, abdominal pain, bloating hemorrhoids and possibly some types of cancer. The fibre present in apples can pull water out of your colon in case of constipation, and absorb excess water in case of diarrhea. Part and parcel with controlling constipation, fibre can prevent you from straining too much when going to the bathroom and thereby help alleviate hemorrhoids.

10. Apples help with weight loss

Apples manage your weight and improve your overall health; an apple does not have any fat or sodium. One component of an apple's peel (which also has most of the fiber) is something called ursolic acid, which was linked to a lower risk of obesity. That's because it boosts calorie burn and increases muscle and brown fat. Apples satisfy hunger for few calories so it's not surprising that they can be part of a healthy diet that promotes weight loss.

11. Apples help controlling hunger

A fresh apple is an ideal snack. The wealth of fiber an apple provides keep you feeling full for longer without costing you a lot of calories. In addition, the fiber slows the absorption of the sugars in apples, so apples have a relatively minor effect on blood sugar. It also means that eating an apple satisfies hungry for a longer time. This makes them an excellent candidate for a snack.

12. Detoxify your liver

We’re constantly consuming toxins, whether it is from drinks or food, and your liver is responsible for clearing these toxins out of your body. One of the best and easiest things you can eat to help detoxify your liver is apple, cleanses and detoxifies, which helps eliminate heavy metals, such as lead and mercury.

13. Apples boost your immune system

Apples are considered a good source of immune system-boosting vitamin C, with over 8 milligrams per medium-sized fruit, which amounts to roughly 14 percent of your daily recommended intake. In particular, a flavonoid called quercetin has been shown to significantly improve your immune system, especially when you're stressed out.

14. Antioxidant Benefits

Antioxidants are disease-fighting compounds. Apples are extremely rich in important antioxidants, flavanoids, and dietary fiber may help reduce the risk of developing cancer, hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease. Apples' strong antioxidant benefits are also related to their ability to lower risk of asthma in numerous studies, and their ability to lower risk of lung cancer.

15. Prevent High Blood Pressure

Apples are high in potassium, a mineral that helps control blood pressure. Adults who eat apples are 37 percent less likely to have hypertension, according to a recent food database analysis.

16. Reduced Risk of Asthma

In two studies researchers found that eating five apples a week have better lung function and lowered the risk for respiratory diseases like asthma. The skin of apple (as well as in onions and tomatoes), is jam-packed with an antioxidant called quercetin, which may protect your lungs from pollutants.

17. Boost your exercise endurance

Eating an apple can be a great option before exercising. Apples deliver an antioxidant called quercetin, which boost endurance by making more oxygen available to the lungs.

18. Apples give you glowing skin

Studies indicate that eating apples daily can reduce skin diseases. It is rich in Vitamin C and antioxidants which prevent signs of ageing, wrinkles and keeps your skin glowing!

19. Protect against metabolic syndrome

Metabolic syndrome is a disorder of energy utilization and storage, diagnosed by a co-occurrence of 3 out of five of the following medical conditions: abdominal (central) obesity, elevated blood pressure, elevated fasting plasma glucose, high serum triglycerides, and low high-density cholesterol (HDL) levels. The metabolic syndrome increases the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, particularly heart failure, and diabetes. People who eat apples may be less likely to suffer from metabolic syndrome.

20. Eyes Protection

Long-term studies suggest that people who have a diet rich in fruits that contain antioxidants—like apples—are 10 to 15 per cent less likely to develop cataracts and macular degeneration of the eye problems.

21. Bone Protection

Researchers believe that a flavanoid called phloridzin, found only in apples may, protect post-menopausal women from osteoporosis and may also increase bone density. Boron, another ingredient in apples, also strengthens bones.

22. Prevent Gall and Kidney Stones

Gallstones form when there’s too much cholesterol in your bile for it to remain as a liquid, so it solidifies. They are particularly prevalent in the obese. To prevent gallstones, doctors recommend a diet high in fibre like apples to help you control your weight and cholesterol levels.
Apple cider vinegar can help prevent the formation of kidney stones.

23. Apple Cautions 

No serious side effects are linked to apple consumption.

  1. Apple seeds contain cyanide, a powerful poison. . Eating too many apple seeds potentially is fatal. Apple seeds should be avoided by pregnant or breastfeeding women and children.
  2. Apple juice concentrate can be full of arsenic when it is not organic. According to a research no arsenic found in organic apple juice.
  3. Consuming unpasteurized apple juice or apple cider can cause serious illness. Children, pregnant women, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems should take precautions by opting for pasteurized juice or cider.
  4. Most of the fiber and antioxidants and nutrients are in the skin or just under the skin (most of the vitamin C and vitamin A are in the skin).
  5. The possible presence of pesticide residual plagues apples. Despite public misperceptions, laboratories have consistently found very low levels pesticide residues on the skin of apples. Non organic apples are often waxed which is not digestible.  Try to buy organic apples or if you cannot, wash them thoroughly before use preferably with a fruit and vegetable wash.
  6. In addition, because apples are fairly acidic, snacking on acidic foods throughout the day is the most damaging, whilst eating them at meal times is much safer. An apple a day is good, but taking all day to eat the apple could be more damaging to teeth than carbonated drinks.
  7. Sulfur dioxide is often added to dried apples to preserve moistness and color; it can provoke allergic reactions in susceptible people.

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