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Can an Apple a Day Really Keep the Doctor Away?

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, / 2010 0
Can an Apple a Day Really Keep the Doctor Away?

You’ve heard the old saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” We all know apples are healthy snacks, but can they really boost your overall health? The answer is yes.

According to scientists, apples contain disease-fighting antioxidants, minerals and vitamins. One apple (with the skin on it) contains four grams of pectin, a soluble fiber that boosts our ability to ward off disease. There are more benefits too!

They may Ward Off Diabetes

Studies show that eating foods rich in fiber reduces the risk of diabetes. Eating an apple every day reduces

They could Help You Avoid Cataracts

Medical studies suggest that people who consume a diet rich in antioxidants are less likely to acquire cataracts by 10 to 15 percent.

An Apple’s Fiber Prevents Diarrhea and Constipation

The fiber controls the amount of water in your bowels, keeping everything running smoothly and regularly. An apple can provide relief from irritable bowel syndrome, decreasing bloating and abdominal pain.

They can Prevent Hemorrhoids

Ouch! Painful hemorrhoids are formed when veins in the anal canal are swollen. Because apples prevent constipation, there’s less straining in the bathroom and thus fewer hemorrhoids.

They can Help You Keep Your Cholesterol Low

The fermentable, soluble fiber helps to reduce cholesterol by binding with fats in the intestines.

They’re Stress Reducers

Quercetin is a flavonoid found in many red fruits. A red apple provides enough quercetin to boost your immune system and provide relief from stress and anxiety.

Apple Skin is Heart Healthy

Apple skins contain a phenolic (antioxidant) compound that inhibits cholesterol from forming on artery walls, which can prevent coronary artery disease.

They May Reduce the Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease

In clinical a study, the juice of apples was shown to reduce and guard against this debilitating and life-threatening disease in mice. (Follow-up studies will need to be done in humans, of course.)

They Detox Your Liver

Out partying last night? Eating an apple helps flush toxins from your liver.

They Help Ward Off Obesity

Studies show that eating a diet rich in fiber can reduce obesity risk by controlling hunger and satiating appetite.

They Help Create a Bright Smile

Biting an apple releases saliva in the mouth, helping to fight bacteria, which can dull your smile.

Plus, apples are low glycemic, have minimal calories, and are easy to take along for a snack. Now that you have the facts, decide for yourself. Are you going to eat an apple today?

It doesn’t matter which vareity of apple you eat — Granny Smith, Red Delicious and Golden Delicious are all great choices — but there are a few things apple-choosing tips to keep in mind:

 

  • Buy apples from a nearby apple orchard to support local business.
  • Organic apples are your best choice, since you’ll avoid pesticides. Not all homegrown apples are organic, so look for ones that are certified organic by the USDA — there will be a sticker or label.
  • Wash your apples thoroughly before you eat them. This will remove some of the grime from the marketplace.

More on apples and their benefits:

http://www.eatingwell.com/food_news_origins/organic_natural/should_you_buy_organic_apples

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=15

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