Summer has turned into fall and one of the great benefits of the season is that apples are bountiful. However, because they are so commonplace, they can often be overlooked as one of the best sources of nutritional value around. Read on to discover some of the benefits of incorporating these luscious, beautiful treats to your diet, and yet another good reason why Grandma was so right when she told you ‘ an apple a day…’
High Nutritional Value
Packing in a fair amount of soluble fiber (around 4 grams per medium apple) for a modest amount of calories (95) makes apples a filling, sweet snack. A medium apple counts as 1 cup of fruit, so after eating one you’re well on your way to meeting your daily fruit quota (around 2 cups for adults on a 2,000-calorie diet). Apples are also are a good source of immune-boosting vitamin C, providing around 14 percent of the Daily Value. The fiber in apples has been shown to reduce intestinal disorders, including hemorrhoids and some types of cancer. It helps control insulin levels by releasing sugar slowly into the bloodstream. It also cleanses and detoxifies, which helps eliminate heavy metals, such as lead and mercury.
Managing Your Weight
Apples are low in calories, and satisfy hunger, so they are able to be a part of a healthy diet that promotes weight loss. This also ties in with the benefits of the fiber content. A healthy intestine is important in maintaining and managing weight loss.
Apples are associated with a lower risk of death from both coronary heart disease and cardiovascular disease. Experts attribute the heart-healthy benefits to antioxidant compounds found in apples, which help prevent LDL cholesterol from oxidizing and inhibit inflammation. In addition, the soluble fiber in apples has also been shown to lower cholesterol levels. Apples are also a great source of potassium, which promotes heart health.
Eating an apple before you work out may boost your exercise endurance. Apples deliver an antioxidant called quercetin, which aids endurance by making oxygen more available to the lungs.
The phytonutrients in apples help to regulate your blood sugar. Research has shown that apple polyphenols can help prevent spikes in blood sugar through different ways. The flavonoid quercetin can inhibit enzymes like alpha-amylase and alpha-glucosidase. As these enzymes are involved in the breakdown of complex carbohydrates into simple sugars, your blood sugar has fewer simple sugars to deal with when these enzymes are inhibited. In addition, the polyphenols in apples have been shown to lessen absorption of glucose from the digestive tract; to stimulate the beta cells of the pancreas to secrete insulin; and to increase uptake of glucose from the blood by stimulating insulin receptors. These mechanisms can make it easier for you to regulate your blood sugar. Simply speaking, Apple pectin helps reduce cholesterol levels by lowering insulin secretion.
Apples are packed with vitamins C, A, and flavonoids and with smaller amounts of phosphorus, iron and calcium.
So not only are these sweet treats readily available this season, they provide an enormous amount of health benefits! There are so many different varieties to choose from! Explore and delight your taste-buds as you climb the to the pinnacle of health.
Always consult your chiropractor or primary care physician for all your health related advice.
Image credit: Apple by Alessio Maffeiss. Used under a creative commons license.
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