Whether it has been on a refrigerator magnet, wrapped around a pencil from the “Treasure Chest” at the doctor’s office, or told to you by your grandmother, we’ve all heard the expression “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” What’s the truth behind this old saying? Will eating an apple a day really improve health?
According to a Canadian magazine source, there are at least 15 health benefits to eating an apple/sauce or drinking apple juice. Before diving into the list, the magazine article states “in 2004, USDA scientists investigated over 100 foods to measure their antioxidant concentration per serving size. Two apples—Red Delicious and Granny Smith—ranked 12th and 13th respectively,” (Best Health, 2013). Antioxidants are a staple to the body’s defense to oxidation and are essential to a healthy diet. The other 15 health benefits listed are:
- Whiter and healthier teeth- Chewing an apple increases saliva and decreases bacteria in the mouth.
- Avoid Alzheimer’s- Drinking apple juice can help fight the effects of an aging mind and increase the levels of acetylcholine.
- Protect against Parkinson’s- Fruit and fiber consumption (fiber is also found in apples) creates a protection against Parkinson’s.
- Curb all sorts of cancers- Compounds found in the peel of an apple help reduce the growth of caner cells in the liver, colon, and breast.
- Decrease risk of diabetes- women who eat apples at least once a day are 28 percent less likely to develop type two diabetes than women who don’t eat apples.
- Reduce cholesterol- Fiber from the apple captures the fat in your intestines reducing cholesterol.
- Get a healthier heart- Fiber and compounds in the peel of the apple work to prevent cholesterol build up in your arteries.
- Prevent gallstones- Again, the fiber is at work to reduce cholesterol build ups that could turn into gallstones.
- Regulate bathroom usage- The fiber in the apple’s peel helps the irregular bathroom-goers become more regular.
- Neutralize irritable bowel syndrome- IBS is affected by the consumption of foods containing dairy or are high in fat. An apple, neither a dairy or fatty food, and a good source of fiber, can help the IBS flares.
- Avert hemorrhoids- Hemorrhoids are created by straining to use the restroom. The fiber in the apple that helps regulate the system will prevent the discomfort of hemorrhoids.
- Control your weight- Foods that contain fiber are also said to be more fulfilling. Snacking on an apple can curb appetites and eliminate overeating.
- Detoxify your liver- Fruits are the best foods to aid in the removal of toxins in the liver.
- Boost your immune system- Red apples house quercetin, an antioxidant proven to help boost the immune system.
- Prevent cataracts- Those who’s diets consist of fruits high in antioxidants are ten to fifteen percent less likely to develop cataracts later in life.
Apples aren’t just healthy for humans- a study showed that the consumption of apples reduced bone loss in animals, according to the World’s Healthiest Foods website. The link below for WHF provides nutritional facts, quick recipes, and even a glimpse at the history of the apple.
Clearly, there are many health benefits to consuming apples, especially on a regular basis. Apples are a quick, healthy, and snack you can feel good about. So, it seems as though there is some truth behind the old saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.”
For more information about the health benefits of apples, please visit the sites below that were utilized in creating this post.