Most people know that apples are a healthy treat and almost immediately, the old “apple a day” adage will come to mind. The health benefits of apples are so widely known that this powerful little fruit has been taken for granted. With so many other competing super foods available today, it might be a good idea to revisit apples. The benefits received from this impressive food might surprise you.
Apples are a great low fat and low calorie snack that is high in soluble fiber and Vitamin A. It is also high in potassium and antioxidants. The great thing is that just one medium sized apple is half of the recommended daily intake of fruit. Eating two apples a day fulfills your daily fruit serving and offers potent health benefits. One thing to keep in mind is that, like many fruits, apples have a good amount of sugar and even though the sugar is natural, it should still only be consumed in moderation.
Pectin is a type of soluble fiber that accounts for many of apples benefits. This fiber not only helps to lower LDL cholesterol, but it can lower it considerably. Some studies have shown cholesterol levels lowered by 15% – 16% if apples are consumed everyday. Fiber also helps to maintain a healthy digestive tract, which, in turn, reduces the risk for any type of digestive cancer such as colon cancer. Pectin will also help maintain healthy blood sugar and insulin levels and therefore helps to reduce the risk of diabetes.
Another thing to note about the fiber content in apples is that it aids many people with their weight loss programs. The high amount of fiber that the apple contains helps to suppress the appetite. When you eat an apple, the fiber works to make you feel more satiated and lasts longer than other types of foods. This then stops cravings for fattening food and evokes healthier cravings.
Antioxidants have been shown to be incredibly potent and important for optimal health. Apples contain a type of antioxidant called Quercetin. Quercetin works to help build a strong immune system, which is vitally important during times of stress. It is highly recommended to make sure to eat apples when the stress levels are high.
An Apple a Day
The best way to add apples to your diet is to eat them raw and enjoy their natural flavor. Much of the antioxidants and fiber come from the skin, so it is a good idea to keep the skin on the apple no matter how you are using it. You can eat an apple whole, or cut it in halves or quarters. Many people like to add cheese or peanut butter to give more substance to the apple. These great flavors work very well together.
Another way to add apples to your diet is to slice them up and put them on top of cereal, oatmeal or with a granola bar. The crispness of the apple works well when mixed with grains. Of course, apples are always a welcome addition to any fruit salad. However you decide to enjoy your apple, do not forget to wash it first.
Good health is something for which most of us aspire. Who does not want to feel good and look good? Sometimes it can seem a little overwhelming as there are so many things being pushed on us to stay healthy that it does not seem possible to keep up with it all. When this happens, it can be a good reminder to get back to the basics. The health benefits of apples are too powerful to ignore.