What Are The Health Benefits Of Apples ?
HEALTH BENEFITS OF APPLES
I am pretty sure you would have heard the proverb “An apple a day, keeps the doctor away”. In fact, the old Welsh proverb holds truth in many ways and as a matter of fact, in the recent years, studies have shown that this proverb is actually spot-on.
Apples are the most widely cultivated tree fruits that grows on small deciduous trees originating from Central Asia. Apples have been grown for aeon of years in Asia and Europe and were introduced to North America by the Europeans during the colonial era in the 17th century.
The apple is the pomaceous fruit of the apple tree in the rose family and its scientific name is “Malus domestica”. Currently, there are more than seven thousand apple cultivars that results in various desired characteristics which contributes to different tastes and specific uses such as raw consumption, cooking, non-edible commercial uses, and cider productions.
Health benefits of apples are plenty. Although apples do not contain any particular vitamin or mineral with the exception of Vitamin C (very little) and potassium, they do contain high levels of various plant chemicals known as phytochemicals and this includes flavonoid quercetin : which has anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory action.
Apples are also a valuable sources of pectin : a soluble fiber that can help lower “bad” cholesterol and help in the prevention of colon cancer. Research has found that adults who eat apples regularly on a daily basis have less abdominal fat, lower blood pressure, and smaller waistlines than those who don’t. In fact, apples may also prevent asthma and bronchitis in children. More than that, apples are also virtually fat-free.
Major Nutrients Per Average Sized Apple
Potassium : 123 mg
Vitamin C : 5 mg
Fibre : 2.8 g
Carbohydrate : 16 g
Protein : Trace
Total Fat : Trace
K/calories : 60
What Are The Health Benefits Of Apples ?
- Triterpenoids the cancer preventing phytochemical can be gained by eating green and red apples on a daily basis.
- An apple a day, for 5 days in a week can prevent respiratory diseases and lung infections like asthma, sinusitis, bronchitis et cetera. Quercetin found in the apples’ skin have been found to help prevent respiratory and lung diseases.
- Those whom are suffering from arthritis, painful joints and muscles, as well as osteoarthritis can benefit from eating apple as the phytochemicals in the apples has anti-inflammatory properties.
- Pectin – the soluble fiber found in apples helps lowers LDL (low-density lipoprotein) or bad cholesterol and improves the blood lipid profiles.
- Keeps you trim and fit. Moreover, it boosts your immune systems.
- Anthocyanins found on red colored fruits and vegetables (red apples) can prevent diabetes.
- Apples also aids in detoxification. Pectin found in apples aids in removing harmful and ageing toxins from the body.
- Phytoestrogen helps to balance sexual hormones. A well balanced sexual hormones can prevent depression and osteoporosis in women after menopause.
- Proanthocyanidin – the red, purple, and / or blue anti-oxidant food pigment found in red apples also supports good blood circulation.
- Apples are also a rich source of potassium which can prevent fluid retention.
- Of lately, researchers has found a link between quercetin found in apples and protection against Alzheimer’s disease.
- Also an ideal snack for dieters and those whom are under weight watch as they are low in calories, low on the glycemic index (GI), and can keep hunger at bay.
- Apples are also known to prevent dementia.
There are two types of apple allergy which is due to the proteins available in this fruit and it is usually predominant in northern European countries. Apple allergy is called the “birch-apple syndrome” and it is often found in people whom are also allergic to birch pollen. Allergic reactions are triggered by a particular protein in apples that is similar to the birch pollen. People affected by this particular protein can also develop allergies to other fruits, vegetables, and nuts.
Allergic reactions to apple often entails oral allergy syndrome (OAS) – generally involves the itching and inflammation of the mouth and throat. In extremely rare cases, apple allergy can also include breathing difficulties, fits, and anaphylaxis. This reaction only occurs when raw fruit is consumed, as the allergen is neutralized in the cooking process. The variety of apple, maturity, and storage conditions can also change the amount of allergen present in the individual fruit. Usually, long storage times increases the amount of proteins that cause birch-apple syndrome.
Some individuals do have adverse reaction to apples because of their similarity to peaches. This particular form of apple allergy also includes oral allergy syndrome (OAS), but, often has severe symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and urticaria and can be life threatening. Individuals with this form of allergy can also develop reaction to other fruits, vegetables, and nuts. Usually, freshly harvested and over-ripe apples tend to have the highest levels of the protein that causes this allergy. Moreover, cooking will not break down the protein that is causing this particular allergic reaction ; therefore, affected individuals must not eat apples either raw or cooked.
General Tips On Apples
- Don’t keep the apples in a bright, hot room as they will rapidly lose their vitamin C (ascorbic acid) content.
- Keep them in a plastic bag with air holes in the refrigerator or in a cool, dark cupboard.
- Try to eat the skin as it contains up to five times as many plant chemical as the flesh.
- When preparing apples, put the slices into a bowl of water with 1 to 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice to prevent browning of the flesh.
- Do not eat the seeds of the apples as it contains a chemical compound called cyanide, which is dangerous for health if consumed too much.