Apple is rightly called the miracle fruit. Western Australia is known for producing apples and each variety has different origins. Apple is one of the healthiest snacks to eat. It not only gives a sweet taste, but also provides numerous health benefits.
Apples are low in calories, high in polyphenols, vitamins C, A and extraordinarily rich in anti-oxidants, flavonoids, and dietary fibre.
Health benefits of apple
Let us see its health benefits one by one:
Reduces cancer risk
Two apples or one glass of raw apple juice a day lowers the risk of cancer. All plant foods contain phytochemicals – a powerful anti-oxidant in it. Apples rank the highest among all the vegetables and fruits. These phytochemicals protect the human body from cancer growth, promotes cancer cell death, and save cells from cancer-inducing oxidative damages.
Also, apple peel contains triterpenoids, an anti-oxidant which has the ability to control the growth of cancer cells in the liver, colon, and breast.
A small apple contains 77 calories and 21 g carbs and in addition to this nutrition, it also contains substantial amounts of fibre and vitamin C. Eating the whole fruit at least twice a week helps in reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes by 23%. Conversely, drinking fruit juices increase the risk by 21%. It is advisable to consume the whole fruit instead of drinking as juice.
The old adage says “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”. And this is true to its word. Eating one apple a day regularly for four weeks keeps cholesterol under control and studies also showed that is lowered bad (LDL) cholesterol by 40%. The active components of apple – polyphenols are a type of anti-oxidant which is mainly responsible for reducing bad cholesterol in blood.
Polyphenols are primarily present in the apple peel which is why eating apples along with outer skin is quite important.
Consuming probiotic food is good for neurological health. Apple is one of the fruits that contains probiotic in it. Probiotic is a substance that helps to optimize the intestinal flora and thereby supports brain health. In addition, apples are rich in quercetin, a yellow crystalline pigment which reduces cellular death caused by inflammation and oxidation of neurons. The antioxidant present in apples protects our brain cells against radical damage.
All crunchy fruits and vegetables are natural toothbrushes. Eating an apple everyday removes all surface stains and plaques from your teeth. Apple’s mildly acidic nature helps in cleansing and brightening the teeth. Do not remove the apple peel since it contains a lot of fibre that is needed for teeth whitening. Chewing an apple promotes blood circulation in the gums, and the fibre acts like a brush in cleaning teeth and gums.
Liver disease treatment
One of the main problems associated with liver is fatty liver. If not noticed early, it leads to liver failure, liver cancer and cirrhosis. Ursolic acid a natural substance present in apple peel that promotes fat loss, lower blood glucose, cholesterol and triglycerides. It also helps in strengthening muscles.
Apple contains an essential component called soluble fibre. Inside our digestion system, this soluble fibre slows down your digestion process by attracting more water thereby keeping you free of hunger for a longer time. Soluble fibre connected to cholesterol particles helps to reduce overall cholesterol levels in the body.
Regular intake of apple can help in weight loss too.
Apples are one best home remedies to reduce blood pressure. Apples are rich in quercetin – an anti-oxidant which protects blood vessels from damages also helps in maintaining healthy blood pressure.
What is ‘apple fast’ and why is it a good idea?
Apple fast is not actually a fast. One can eat as much as they want, but should eat only apples instead of their regular diet. Apple fast is powerful tool for stimulating detoxification. If a person decides to change his/her eating habits, apple fast is a good start. You can try apple fast once a week to detoxify the body and clear away food sensitivities. As we already discussed above, apples are rich in fibre and it quickly corrects all digestive disturbances.
Why apples are considered best for babies
Once a baby becomes 6 months old and is ready to take solid foods, apples immediately come to mind.
Why? Let us have a quick look at the benefits:
- Cures stomach disorder
- Treats dysentery
- Reduces cough
- Cures dental disorder (Age – above 1 year)
Remember – Before feeding apple to your baby, make sure to check for allergy symptoms. Also consult with your child’s doctor once. Once it is confirmed that the child is not allergic, peel off apples, boil and mash them and start feeding.