10 Health Benefits Of Apples
Apples are widely cultivated in the world. There are various varieties of apples. They can be eaten raw or can be baked for preparation of desserts. You can also juice it and drink apple juice. Apple is almost free of sodium, fat and cholesterol. It is rich in nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin B complex, fiber, calcium, potassium and phosphorus. Because of all these nutrients apples offer a number of health benefits.
#1. Good for The Heart
Apples are a good source of many phytonutrients. The phytonutrients help to protect the cardiovascular system from oxidative damage due to free radicals. Oxidation results in plaque buildup in the arteries and consequent blocking of the same causing stroke and heart attack. Apples contain a compound called pectin which help in lowering the levels of LDL cholesterol. Research studies indicate that eating two apples a day can lower the risk of heart attack.
#2. Bone Health
Apple is a good source of calcium which is most essential for bone health. Some antioxidants contained in apple are helpful in improving bone density. Apple also contains boron which strengthens the bones and prevents fractures. Apples also contain certain flavonoids which are helpful in reducing the risk of osteoporosis in women during menopause.
#3. Prevents Cancer
Apples in your diet are a rich source of antioxidants and phytochemicals. They help in preventing oxidative damage to cells which induce cancer, stop tumor growth and prevent the start of cancer. They can also promote death of cancer cells. Studies conducted have established that regular consumption of apples can reduce the risk of breast cancer by 17%. It also indicates that eating one or more apples a day reduces the risk of lung cancer and colon cancer.
#4. Cholesterol Control
It has been established by studies that eating apples regularly had lower levels of LDL cholesterol as compared with those who did not eat apple. Apples contain pectin which reduces secretion of insulin and thus reduce cholesterol levels. The dietary fibers in apples prevent the levels of cholesterol in the blood from rising. Overall eating apples daily help to lower the levels of bad cholesterol.
#5. Liver Detoxification
Apple contains pectin. Pectin has good detoxification properties. It helps to eliminate unwanted metals, cholesterol and other toxins from the liver through the digestive system during the digesting process. This will help the liver to function better as removal of toxins reduces the load on the lever which helps in improving the cell functions, circulatory function and the digestive functions bringing overall health benefits.
#6. Brain Functions
Research studies have established that drinking apple juice every day will retard the age related cognitive problems. Apple has an antioxidant called quercetin, which offer protection to brain cells from free radicals. Protection of brain cells help in improving brain health and reduce the risk of degenerative disorder of the nervous system such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
#7. Weight Loss
Apples are low in fat, low in calories, and low in cholesterol but are a very good source of dietary fiber. Fiber rich food helps to prevent over eating because you tend to feel satiated for longer periods of time. Apples also contain pectin and when this dissolves in the stomach it forms a gel like substance which traps dietary cholesterols and fat. It thus limits the absorption of fat by the cell. A study conducted on women indicated that subjects who ate three or more apples a day lost more weight compared to those who did not.
Apples contain flavonoids and flavonoids by virtue of their anti-inflammatory properties helps calm the inflammation of the airways. This will ease breathing problem and prevents wheezing. It also has phenolic acids which also help to ease breathing and asthma problem.
Apples are rich in fiber. Fiber regulates the release of food from the stomach to the digestive tract at a slow rate. This helps in the prevention of spikes in the sugar levels in the blood. The digestive process is also influenced by polyphenols in apple which improves the absorption of carbohydrates resulting in the regulation of blood sugar. Apple lowers the absorption of glucose in the digestive tract. It also has a stimulating effect on the pancreas to produce more insulin and helps to reduce blood sugar.
#10. Prevents Gallstones
Gallstones form when there is excess cholesterol in the bile. The excess cholesterol tends to solidify forming gallstones. It is predominant among people who are overweight. High fiber diet is what doctors recommend for the prevention of gallstone. Apple is high in fiber. It helps lower cholesterol and also helps to reduce weight. Thus apple can prevent formation of gallstones.