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8 Outstanding Health Benefits of Apples
Apples are widely cultivated and consumed worldwide. They are a rich source of vitamins, minerals, and fibre, and are known for their crisp texture and sweet taste. Apples are low in calories and high in fibre, making them a great choice for individuals looking to maintain a healthy diet. They contain antioxidants, such as Vitamin C, which can help boost the immune system and protect against chronic diseases.
Health Benefits of Apples
Apples come in a range of colours, including red, green, and yellow, and can have a slightly tart or sweet flavour depending on the variety. Some popular varieties include Granny Smith, Gala, and Red Delicious.
Apples are considered to be the most common fruit consumed and their versatility makes it even easier for people to benefit from their taste and nutrients.
Apples are Nutritious
The excellent nutrient profile holds so much value with each serving. 200 grams of apples provide 104 calories, 5 grams of fibre, 28 grams 0f carbohydrates, 6% of the total daily value intake of copper, 5% of the daily value of potassium, 10% of the daily value of vitamin C and 4% of vitamin K. In addition to these nutrients, apples are a rich source of Vitamin B1, B6 and Vitamin E. Vitamins C and E act as antioxidants that help prevent the oxidation of body cells by free radicals that are formed by radiation or ultraviolet rays of the sun or any other chemical reaction.
Another group of antioxidants are polyphenols which are found highly in apples. Vitamin B1 and B6 are required for growth and development and protein metabolism, respectively. The fibres of the fruit are contained in the skin and so it is advised to eat apples along with the skin to gain the benefits of fibres.
Weight Loss or Management
Apples are high in dietary fibre and water. The two fill up the stomach very quickly giving a feeling of fullness. This helps with weight management as well as appetite. In one study conducted, it was observed that people who consumed apples as a whole fruit had increased their appetite by a period of 4 hours than those who consumed the fruit in the form of juice or puree. The reason behind this is that when consuming a whole fruit, the time taken to digest it and empty it out by the stomach is reduced.
Fibrous foods help in healthy digestion. Apples contain soluble as well as insoluble fibres. Both have their own health benefits. Soluble fibres aid in a slower digestion process which gives a feeling of fullness. On the other hand, insoluble fibres help in the movement of food through the intestines and promote healthy bowels reducing the chances of constipation. The fibres are present on the skin of the apple.
Including apples in your diet can help boost immunity. A diet rich in soluble fibres transforms pro-inflammatory immune cells into anti-inflammatory cells. Ascorbic acid or Vitamin C has also been proven to boost immunity by fighting against oxidation and helping repair tissues and protect the epithelial lining.
Apples are one of the most diabetic-friendly fruits consumed and doctors recommend them to diabetic patients suffering from type-2 diabetes. The soluble fibres in apple help reduce the absorption of sugar into the blood and improve its levels. This helps the body to function insulin efficiently. A diet rich in soluble fibre is known to lower the risks of insulin resistance.
Gut health is as equally important as other organs of the body. The microflora of the gut region is responsible for healthy digestion and absorption of food. Pectin is a starchy substance present in apples that act as a pre-biotic. This means that they are the food or nutrition for the good bacteria in the body. Pre-biotics help in the functioning of the friendly microbiota in the digestive tract which promotes a healthy bowel movement.
Helps in Managing Cholesterol and Blood Pressure
Apples have been proven to lower the risks of high cholesterol and blood pressure levels in the body. This is highly contributed to the soluble fibres present in it. It was observed in a study that how soluble fibres prevent the production of cholesterol in the lining of blood vessels. This reduces the chances of cardiovascular diseases and promotes a healthy heart.
Apples are high in quercetin, an anti-oxidant agent that helps protect cells from oxidation. Apple juice has also been linked to the production of some neurotransmitters that may promote memory functioning. Studies also found how apple is linked with Alzheimer’s condition. Neurodegenerative disorders are caused due to oxidation of the cells which produces a certain amount of stress on the cells to function improperly.
As the age-old proverb says ‘an apple a day keeps the doctors away’, apples have definitely never disappointed us. And since the fruit is very common and grown throughout the world, apples come in a range of varieties and so do their health benefits. The fruit can be made into juice, pie, jam, juices and many more.
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