“An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” or so the saying goes. And, an apple a day seems like a solid, healthy snack option. Apples are low in calories, high in fiber, and they’re packed with vitamin C. They also contain potassium, magnesium, folate, riboflavin, and vitamins A, E, K, and B6.1
But adding an apple a day to your diet may have even more health benefits to offer.
Five Reasons to Eat an Apple a Day
1. Fight the Aging Process
Both the skin and the flesh of apples are loaded with beneficial polyphenol antioxidants.
And, as you may know, one of the best things you can do in the fight against aging is to consume plenty of antioxidants. This is because antioxidants help to minimize the damaging effects of free radicals.
Free radicals are molecules that occur naturally in your body and in the environment around you. They have the ability to destroy your cells, and may accelerate the aging process or increase your risk for certain illnesses.2
Well, antioxidants help neutralize free radicals, protecting you from the damage they do.
Many vitamins and minerals act as antioxidants, including vitamin C found in apples. But phytochemicals (chemicals that provide the color, smell, and flavor to plants) can also act as antioxidants. Guess what? Apples also contain high levels of the powerful phytochemical quercetin.3
2. Boost Your Digestive Health
Fiber is important for a healthy digestive system. And apples are renowned for their fiber content – insoluble fiber in particular. Insoluble fiber doesn’t absorb much water, so it provides bulk to the digestive tract. This helps to push food through the digestive system with ease.4
According to The American Heart Association, you should get around 25 to 30 grams of dietary fiber per day. One medium-sized apple will give you about 17%!
3. Help Keep Your Cholesterol in Check
Insoluble fiber isn’t doing all the work to help boost your health. Apples also contain soluble fiber – namely pectin. Pectin has been shown to help keep unhealthy cholesterol from building up in the blood vessels, which promotes heart health.
In one study, a research team followed 160 women who ate a third of a cup of dried apples every day for a year, and another group who ate dried prunes.
By the 6-month mark, the study showed that the apple-eating women had a 23% decrease in bad LDL cholesterol levels. And, their levels of good HDL cholesterol went up by about 4%.5
4. Feed Your Friendly Gut Bugs
As it turns out, the pectin in apples also acts as a prebiotic. That means that it helps to feed the good bacteria in your gut.
Whereas probiotics add more friendly gut bacteria into your digestive system, prebiotics help increase the number of friendly gut bugs that already exist.
And having plenty of healthy gut bacteria is about even more than having a healthy gut. Those good gut bugs help contribute to whole-body wellness – helping to reduce the risk of certain digestive ailments and boost your brain health! 6,7
5. Lose Some Weight
One of the huge benefits of fiber is that it leaves you feeling fuller for longer. This can help keep you from over-snacking or overeating. Empty calories from foods like donuts or cookies can leave you feeling hungry again a short while later. But high-fiber foods keep you feeling full and satiated.
And if you’re more satiated, you may be able to better manage your weight.
In one study, overweight women were randomly given either apples, pears, or oat cookies and instructed to eat them three times a day. After 3 months, the fruit group lost an average of 2.7 lbs. The study showed that the oat cookies group achieved no significant weight loss.8
The Apple a Day Diet
The benefits of eating a diet low in calories and high in fiber should never be underestimated. Did you know that the insoluble fiber in apples might even help boost healthy blood pressure levels? 9 The health benefits of the humble apple are enormous!
So, an apple a day may be the perfect snack food to keep you healthy (against cholesterol, aging, and weight gain), wealthy (you’ll be saving on probiotics) and wise (prebiotic brain health).
How ‘bout them apples!? There’s no risk to eating plenty of apples, so go for it!
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