Michigan Apple Committee posted on October 18, 2022 |
We’ve all heard the famous saying, “An Apple a day keeps doctor away”, but did you ever wonder why eating an apple is so beneficial to your health? Many of the health benefits are due to the fact that apples are a rich source of phytochemicals, including quercetin, catechin, phloridzin and chlorogenic acid, all of which are strong antioxidants. These antioxidants help to break down and neutralize harmful free radical compounds within our body. Free radicals can rise due to many things such as exposure to polluted air and simply the aging process. Incorporating antioxidant rich foods, like apples, in your daily meal plan, can ward off the free radicals that build up to promote better health.
Here are 10 compelling reasons to include at least one Michigan Apple in your daily meal plan:
Apples assist with weight management. Each medium apple contains approximately 4.5 grams of fiber. This fiber can slow digestion so you feel fuller after eating. This can keep you from overeating.
Apples promote gut health. Apples contain pectin, a type of fiber that acts as a prebiotic that feeds the good bacteria in your gut. Your gut microbiota plays an essential role in your overall health and well-being.
Apples protect your heart. Eating one medium apple a day may help lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and inflammation all of which support a healthy heart. Eat the peel when you can as the fiber and polyphenols found in the peel benefit heart health.
Apples can strengthen your lungs. Research has shown that regularly eating apples may help promote lung function. For example, consuming five or more apples per week is associated with greater lung function and a reduced risk of developing COPD. Again, this may be due to the high concentration of antioxidants in apples, including flavonoids and vitamin C.
Apples protect your brain. A 2014 study found that fruit, like apples, containing a compound called fisetin may prevent Alzheimer’s and protect against memory loss. Identified only ten years ago, fisetin has been linked to fighting cancer and diabetes and is only now being praised for its brain boosting powers.
Apples support your immune system. Apple skins contain quercetin, a type of plant pigment flavonoid that helps boost your immune system and reduce inflammation
Apples can help manage diabetes. Eating apples on a regular basis has the potential to reduce insulin resistance, which should lead to lower blood sugar levels. This is because the polyphenols stimulate your pancreas to release insulin and help your cells take in sugar.
Apples promote bone health. Due to a unique bone-building phytonutrient called phloridzin, apples can help improve bone density and reduce bone breakdown for women after menopause.
Apples may keep asthma at bay. According to a research review article in Nutrition Journal, apples were associated with a lower risk of asthma and increased lung function. Experts speculate that those fabulous phytochemicals apply anti-inflammatory effects in the lungs and airways, reducing wheezing and other asthma symptoms.
Apples defend against certain cancers. Different observational studies have found that including fiber-rich apples as part of a nourishing diet can help reduce the risk of cancers such as colorectal cancer, lung cancer and forms of breast cancer. This is most likely due to the antioxidants in apples which provide anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties.
The potential health benefits of apples are numerous so make sure to keep your kitchen stocked! Need some apple inspiration? Click here to get some tasty tips for adding more Michigan Apples to your meals and snacks.