The 6 most important health benefits of apples

So apparently they keep the doctor away. But can this claim be supported with some evidence based facts?

health benefits of drinking apple juiceThe distinct flavour of each variety of aplle becomes more apparant when you juice them


Many people that are serious about their health know about the benefits of apples but we wanted to find the evidence backing up the health claims.

When we did that we were happy to find that they have been studied quite extensively.

If you are looking for a detail nutritional profile of apples we suggest you go here.

More importantly what are the specific research based benefits of apples.


Benefit 1: Apples protects you against cancer


Multiple studies have demonstrated apples do have anti cancer properties.

In one study people who consumed 1 or more apples per day were at 20% lower risk of getting colorectal cancer and 18% lower risk of breast cancer.


Benefit 2: Apples protects you against lung disease


One of the health benefits of apples relates to the fact that they have specific nutrients that make them important when it comes to general support of lung function and lung health.

Some animal studies indicate apple phytonutrients can protect against cancers of the lungs. 

health-benefits-of-apples

It has been found that apples protects chromosomes against the cancer-causing activity of certain carcinogens found in cigarettes.

According to one study covering 10,000 people, those associated with the daily consumption of apples had a 50% percent reduction in their risk of developing lung cancer.

Researchers argue that the health benefits of apples are attributable to certain flavonoids found in them. Flavanoids are key factors in the protection against asthma.

The studies found that flavonoids from other fruits and vegetables did not affect asthma risk in the same way.

One study showed that children born to women who eat a lot of apples during pregnancy, have lower rates of asthma than children whose mothers did not.


In a well known study that dates back to 2004, USDA scientists analyzed the antioxidant levels just over 100 different foods. 

So where did apples feature on the top 20 items of this list?

Type of apple

Food ranking

Red Delicious apple

12

Granny Smith apple

13

Gala apple

20



Benefit 3: Apples are a great source for your daily dietary fiber requirement


Although apple juice recipes are a wonderful source of vitamins and minerals, their most valuable nutrition comes from their pectin content.

This is what gives apple juice that thick cloudy appearance when you juice them.

One of the health benefits of pectin is that it breaks down toxins in our intestines and it also enhances our bowel functions.

Several laboratory studies found that is that they may be helpful in reducing the risk of colon cancer.

Because of the fiber content apples have been shown to reduce blood sugar levels. 

One study found that rats fed on apples had a 43 percent lower risk of colon cancer.

Apples are an important source of soluble and insoluble fiber.

Soluble fiber is important to prevent cholesterol build up in the lining of blood vessel walls.


apple-juice-nutritionFully ripened apples contains the highest antioxidant levels


The insoluble fiber in apples provides us with bulk in our intestinal track.

The insoluble fiber works like roughage, sweeping debris from your digestive tract.

Red and Golden Delicious apples are the sweetest apples while Braeburn, Gravenstein, and Granny Smith apples have a more tart flavor.

Fiber is therefore important to ensure that food move rapidly through our digestive system.

Apples also seem to slow down digestion of sugars so that they get absorbed at a slower rate. That leads to a lower risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.


Benefit 4: Apples lowers your cholesterol


Numerous studies have proven that fiber can lower your LDL cholesterol levels.

Apples contains an antioxidant called "quercetin" which studies show help reduce the damage caused by the "bad" LDL type cholesterol and protect against heart disease.

Apples do this by slowing the oxidation process involved in the build-up of arterial plaque.

Insoluble fiber moves LDL cholesterol into your digestive tract and so removes it from your body in the process.

A six month long study by Florida State University found that women who consumed apples on a daily basis had significantly less (23%) bad (LDL) cholesterol and an increase in good (HDL) cholesterol.


Benefit 5: Apples reduces the risk of heart disease


How?

Apples are rich in flavanoids

Apple nutrition show that it contains impressive amounts of flavonoids available in both the skins and pulp of the apples.

Recent research indicates that the health benefits of flavonoids indicate that they can trigger the activity of enzymes.

Fruits containing flavonoids have been used for thousands of years in traditional Eastern medicine however it seems that Western medicine has not focused on flavonoids for medicinal purposes yet.

One of the studies indicated that apples can reduce cholesterol levels and reduce plaque build up inside your arteries.


 Should you eat or juice apples with their skins?

Although pesticide is a valid concern, studies have repeatedly found no or at least very low  pesticide residues on the skin of apples.

In several studies, "cloudy" apple juice that contains apple pulp found in whole apples is much better at supporting your health than "clear" apple juice that does not contain this pulp.

nutritional profile of apples

Most of the fiber and antioxidants are in the peel of apples.

To take full advantage of the health benefits of apples, it's important to eat and juice apples with their skin in tact.

If it is a concern it is always advisable to either wash the apple thoroughly in warm water before consumption or to only purchase organically grown apples.

In this way you minimize the chances of exposure to unwanted pesticide sprays and toxic residues from petroleum-based waxes applied to the apples.



Benefit 6: Apples can improve your neurological health, prevent dementia and reduce your risk of stroke


The health benefits of apples are good for neurological health because of their quercetin content.

It prevents dementia because studies at Cornell University found that apples may help protect neuron cells against oxidative stress-induced neurotoxicity.

This can therefore possibly reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

A study which include about 10 000 men and women showed that those who ate the most apples over an extended period had the lowest risk for thrombotic stroke.


The bottom line of apple nutrition


There is numerous evidenced base facts that indicate that the consumption of apples may improve your heart health as well as reduce the risk of cancer and diabetes. 

To optimize the health benefits from apples, always choose apples that are fully ripened - almost to the point of spoilage.

Research conducted in Austria suggests that the fully ripened fruit has the highest antioxidant levels.

If you know of somebody that can benefits from the research we have highlighted in this post please share this page.


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