As children, often we have heard the saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”, back then we just believed it and followed it because the very thought of visiting a doctor frightened us. Let us now look deeper into the reasoning behind this. Some reasons why apples are beneficial to our health are:
1. Get whiter, healthier teeth
Biting and chewing an apple stimulates the production of saliva in your mouth, reducing tooth decay by lowering the levels of bacteria.
- Avoid Alzheimer’s
Drinking apple juice could keep Alzheimer’s away and fight the effects of aging on the brain.
- Protect against Parkinson’s
Eating fruits and other high-fiber foods gain a certain amount of protection against Parkinson’s, a disease characterized by a breakdown of the brain’s dopamine-producing nerve cells. This is due to the high levels of anti-oxidants present in the apple.
- Curb all sorts of cancers
Consumption of flavonol-rich apples could help reduce your risk of developing pancreatic cancer. Triterpenoids in apple peel that have potent anti-growth activities against cancer cells in the liver, colon and breast. Apples can reduce the number and size of mammary tumors. A high fiber intake helps to reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.
- Decrease your risk of diabetes
Women who eat at least one apple a day are less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those who don’t eat apples. Apples are loaded with soluble fiber, the key to blunting blood sugar swings.
- Reduce cholesterol
The soluble fiber found in apples binds with fats in the intestine, which translates into lower cholesterol levels and a healthier you.
- Get a healthier heart
High soluble fiber intake is directly related with a slower buildup of cholesterol-rich plaque in your arteries. 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.
- Prevent gallstones
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 fiber to help you control your weight and cholesterol levels.
- Beat diarrhea and constipation
Whether you can’t go to the bathroom or you just can’t stop, fiber found in apples can help. Fiber can either pull water out of your colon to keep things moving along when you’re backed up, or absorb excess water from your stool to slow your bowels down.
- Neutralize irritable bowel syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome is characterized by constipation, diarrhea, and abdominal pain and bloating. To control these symptoms doctors recommend staying away from dairy and fatty foods while including a high intake of fiber in your diet.
- Avert hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids are a swollen vein in the anal canal and while not life threatening, these veins can be very painful. They are caused by too much pressure in the pelvic and rectal areas. Part and parcel with controlling constipation, fiber can prevent you from straining too much when going to the bathroom and thereby help alleviate hemorrhoids.
- Control your weight
Many health problems are associated with being overweight, among them heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and sleep apnea. To manage your weight and improve your overall health, a diet rich in fiber is recommended. Foods high in fiber will fill you up without costing you too many calories.
- 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. Eating fruits like apples helps to detoxify your liver.
- Boost your immune system
Red apples contain an antioxidant called quercetin. Quercetin can help boost and fortify your immune system, especially when you’re stressed out.
- Prevent cataracts
People who have a diet rich in fruits that contain antioxidants like apples are less likely to develop cataracts.
The above mentioned reasons now show us why adults often told us, “Apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Stay healthy and eat an apple every day. This can greatly boost your health and keep you fit and active.
For more diet and health tips, visit a dietitian. A list of good dietitians can be found on the QuickSearch website.