Why People Say An Apple A Day Keeps The Dr Away.
Apples are one of the most widely eaten, year-round, accessible fruits that are eaten by the millions around the world.
"An apple a day keeps the Dr away" is a popular saying that does, in fact, bear some truth.
Whilst having a single apple every single day is not practical, nor is it going to magically rid you all health concerns and protect you from illness; eating apples regularly is good for you, as they are incredibly healthy source of vitamins, minerals and fibre.
Why an apple a day is good for you.
Making apples a regular part of your diet, or should you wish to live by the saying, eating an apple every day, the results will always be positive.
Apples are healthy, fleshy fruits that are readily available in a range of different shapes, sizes, colours and textures. Cheap and easy to eat, apples can easily be added to anybody's diet.
Nutritional benefits of apples.
Apples are naturally high in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fibre, all of which have a beneficial effect on the body and overall health.
Consuming enough foods rich in those listed above are an incredibly important aspect of any nutritionally balanced diet.
Vitamin and minerals.
Vitamins and minerals are micronutrients that the body needs in order to maintain proper bodily function. Both are found in the food that we eat in varying amounts.
Apples are incredibly high in vitamin and minerals; particularly the skin.
Apples are rich in:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin K
- Vitamin E
Apples are extremely rich in antioxidants, which are compounds found in food that help to reduce oxidise stress caused by free radicals and protect the body from its effects.
Free radicals are created by the body from processing some foods, sunlight and toxins such as alcohol, smoke and pollution.
Antioxidants work to break free radicals down so that they can no longer cause harm, and can even stop them from forming in the first place.
Antioxidants are found mainly in vitamins, so apples that are incredibly rich in vitamin C and others, are also rich in antioxidant properties.
Another point to mention is the discovery of flavonoids. Flavonoids are only recently starting to become understood; found in over 4000 different foods, including apples, flavonoids help to protect the body against heart disease, inflammation, cancer, memory loss and many others.
Real Health Benefits Of Apples.
Good for lowering cholesterol.
Having elevates levels of cholesterol in the blood can lead to plaque build-up in the arteries, which can lead to high blood pressure and heart disease.
Some foods, including apples, can help to reduce plaque build-up due to a high fibre content.
Fibre in food is known to attach itself to cholesterol and help to clear it out of the body before it can settle in the body.
A recent nutritional study found that eating around 75g of dried apple regularly, significantly reduced cholesterol levels in Older woman.
Can help to prevent type 2 diabetes?
Due to a low glycemic index, apples are a fantastic fruit choice for sufferers of diabetes.
Low Glycemic index foods have little effect on blood sugar levels, and as such does not result in glucose spikes.
The high flavonoid count found in apples can also lead to an increase in insulin sensitivity.
Apples can prevent obesity?
Pectin, a type of fibre found mostly in fruit has been shown to effectively regulate gut microbiome, which in turn allows the body to process food more efficiently and avoid obesity.
Pectin is also an anti-inflammatory which is also beneficial for the body.
Can help to prevent heart disease.
All of the wonderful health benefits of apples can help to prevent heart disease. The vitamin and minerals keep the body working at its best, the fibre helps to keep the body regular, prevent weight gain and reduce cholesterol levels; and the antioxidant properties work to lessen the effect of free radical oxidization, which causes inflammation in the body, leading to many cardiovascular issues.
Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death worldwide, so reducing the risk is incredibly important.
Apples And Weight Loss.
Apples are a deliciously juicy, sweet and crisp fruit that have a great reputation for being incredibly healthy - thus the saying "an apple a day..."
There are countless studies that back up the health benefit claims of apples, including reducing cholesterol, reducing the risk of heart disease and preventing diabetes.
Making apples a regular part of your diet can also aid in weight loss, here's why:
Apples Are Low in Calories.
Most fruits and vegetables are relatively low in calories, but apples particularly have a low-calorie density. Not all calories are created equal, there are high-density foods low-density food.
Low-density foods have fewer calories per g, whereas high-density foods have higher calorie counts per g.
Having fewer calories per g means that you can eat more, fill up, all whilst consuming fewer calories, which is great if your goal is to lose weight.
In a recent study, researchers examined the results of eating low-density snacks as opposed to high-density stacks over a period of a month.
Group A added 1 oat cookies to their regular daily diet (High-density) and group B added 2 apples (Low-density). Both foods were comparable in total calories and fibre count.
At the end of 10 weeks, those who had the cookies showed no or little change in weight, while the apple eaters lost weight, due to consuming fewer calories overall.
They're Rich in Fiber.
Most people in the western world only consume around half of the recommended daily amount of fibre; which is a shame because dietary fibre is so beneficial to health and weight loss in particular.
Studies suggest that apples could be a weight loss superfood and that adding them to your regular diet is a great way to get some extra fibre, as well as many other healthy nutrients.
Fibre can help with weight loss in a number of different ways.
- Firstly fibre fills you up and keeps you feeling satisfies for longer.
- It has a positive effect on gut health and makes processing food far more efficient.
- High fibre foods are usually low GI food as well, so there is little increase in blood sugar which can lead to weight gain.
It is important to note that most of the fibre found in apples is actually in the skin, not the flesh.
If you don't like the skin, or find that it gets stuck in your teeth; try adding whole, skin on apples to your smoothies to get all the health benefits that they have to offer.
They Fill You Up.
High fibre and high water content are two food traits that lead to feeling fuller for longer. Apples are around 85% water, so they are great at filling you up, whilst not loading on the calories.
Apples also take time to eat if you bite away at them whole, which also helps to fill you up. Chewing more somewhat tricks the body into thinking that it is eating more; that is why chewing gum can sometimes work as a hunger suppressant.
They Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth, Naturally
As a whole apples are fantastically sweet. some varieties can be sour and tart, but for the most part, the crisp fruit is sweet and delicious.
Cooking/baking apples is also a great way to draw a lot of that natural sweetness out and with a little peanut butter can make an easy healthy dessert.
Despite the sweetness of apples, they still maintain a low GI rating; this is because the surgery taste comes from fructose, a type of sugar (glucose) found mainly in fruits and vegetables.
Are apples a healthy snack for weight loss?
Apples are one of the best snacks for weight loss! Cheap to buy, available all year round, and with so many varieties available it can be fun to try out the different kinds.
Apples can be eaten as a snack on their own, added to smoothies, or sliced into wedges and dunked into low-fat natural peanut butter.
If you really have a sweet tooth you can try baking apples with cinnamon and other warming spices. Cooking apples can help to draw the natural sweetness out and makes for a fantastic low fat pudding when paired with sorbet or greek yoghurt.
Other afternoon snacks for weight loss.
Apples are not the only fruit great for weight loss and as a general rule, any fruit or vegetable can make an excellent afternoon snack for weight loss.
Some afternoon stack examples:
- Vegetable sticks with hummus
- Sliced banana or apple with peanut butter
- Handful of mixed berries
- Fruit smoothie
- Dried fruit and nuts