Quick Links | Eat Wise
6 Super Health Benefits of Apples
Sweet but with a lemony finish. Crisp, tangy to the point of tartness. Spicy and fragrant. Yes, we’re talking apples! Domesticated some 4000 years ago in the fruity forests of what is now Kazakhstan, apples became a part of the human diet a long time ago. With flavours shaped by their respective climates, it was not until recently apple breeders have started to offer such a variety and explosion of flavours. Homegrown apples from Mustang are a huge favourite. But the history and diversity of apples is not the only thing to know. Apples also can be credited with delivering an amazing number of health benefits, such as:
1. Fighting bad breath.
Apples contain pectin, which helps control food odors. Pectin also promotes saliva, which cleanses breath.
2. Preventing asthma attacks.
Asthma sufferers often have low levels of antioxidants. Apples are high in vitamin C and flavonoids (beneficial, water-soluble plant pigments). Both are antioxidant. One study found that vitamin C supplements helped protect against exercise-induced asthma.
3. Reducing the risk of stroke.
A study showed that people who ate the most apples over a 28-year period had the lowest risk for stroke. Researchers concluded that the results suggest the intake of apples is related to a decreased risk of thrombotic stroke.
4. Preventing constipation.
Fresh apples are high in fiber, which adds bulk to the stool. Apples contain both soluble and insoluble fiber, or roughage.
5. Combating fatigue.
The high vitamin C and antioxidant content in apples counter the free radicals leading to oxidative stress, which has been linked to fatigue.
6. Reducing the risk of diabetes.
The phytonutrients (beneficial substances found in various plants) in apples help regulate blood sugar. These compounds help prevent spikes in blood sugar in a variety of ways: by inhibiting enzymes involved in the breakdown of carbohydrates into simple sugars; by stimulating pancreatic cells to produce insulin; by decreasing the absorption of sugars into the bloodstream.
Apples are nutritional powerhouses and rank second for highest antioxidant activity. However, they ranked highest in the proportion of free phenolic compounds—substances not bound to other compounds in the fruit and thus more easily absorbed into the bloodstream. So stock up on a good supply of apples and don’t cut off the peels. They contain much of apples’ fiber and antioxidant power.