For centuries, people knew the health benefits of apples. "An apple a day keeps the doctor away," is one phrase that has been popular for years. The reason for this is that it accurately describes what apples do. Apples help prevent cancer, control sugar problems, help prevent heart disease, contain high fiber, lower cholesterol, provide anti-inflammatory protection and promote weight loss. Where else could you find such an inexpensive medical boost in such an attractive package?
The health benefits of apples don't stop there. New research indicates that apples also contain
important phytonutrients that help prevent Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease. This phytonutrient is quercetin. Two studies from Cornell University showed that the nutrient helped protect rat's brains from oxidative stress. Other phytonutrients in apples, besides quercetin include phenolic acids and other flavanoids, which help the plant by protecting the apple from an assault by bacteria, fungus and virus, also provide anti-oxidant protection and anti-cancer benefits also.
Why are anti-oxidants important to you? Free radicals are nothing more than atoms with an odd number of electrons. Since electrons travel in pairs, it seeks out an electron to steal from the body's cells. Once it steals the electron from the outer shell of the cell, the chemical composition changes and instead of a permeable membrane that allows food, oxygen in and lets out waste, it becomes hard. The cell starves. If the free radical steals from the mitochondria of the cells, it shuts down the power plant in the cell. Again, the cell dies and you have aging and illness.
The anti-oxidants in apples provide that extra electron for the free radical and block any negative effects in the body. It inhibits reactive substances that damage healthy cells and prevents disease. It also provides the building blocks for healthy cells to replace ones that die as part of the natural pattern.
Apples have pectin, the substance used to help jelly gel. Pectin lowers the LDL in the body, the bad cholesterol and therefore helps vascular health and prevents coronary disease. The fiber in the apple also blocks the absorption of bad cholesterol in the colon.
Dieters find that consuming apples every day helps them lose weight faster. The apples provide dietary fiber that fills the stomach and provides satiation. It also helps to stabilize the glucose levels in the blood. If the glucose levels spike rapidly, they also drop rapidly. This happens when you eat sugary snacks. Stable glucose levels leave you feeling satisfied for hours, rather than twenty to thirty minutes, like sugary snacks and sodas do.
Another Cornell University study showed that rats fed an apple a day lowered their risk of getting breast cancer by as much as 17 percent. If the number of apples eaten each day increased, the risk lowered even more. Three apples each day produced a 39 percent reduction and six apples each day showed a 44 percent reduction in breast cancer.
Other studies involving 10,000 people showed that those that ate apples reduced their risk of lung cancer by a whopping 50 percent. The reason may be in the flavonoids. Quercetin and naringin, two of these flavonoids may be the responsible elements. There are even more health benefits of apples than these, but the best benefit is that they're easily accessible, easy to store and require little preparation.