You know the saying "An apple a day keeps the doctor away?". Well, this old wife’s tale has truth based in science! Apples are part of the “sour” category of foods and are thus great for bringing into balance the liver and gallbladder.
The additional health benefits of apples include:-
High levels of antioxidants. Antioxidants are fabulous for preventing oxidative damage from free radicals in the body, thus reducing inflammation; reducing “bad” LDL cholesterol and also preventing diabetes!
They are also high in dietary fibre, another great quality in the prevention of diabetes
It is said that the phytonutrients and antioxidants in apples may help reduce the risk of getting cancer, as well as heart disease
Scientific research over many years have pointed to the healthy benefits of apples, stating that they are probably one of the healthiest fruits in the world and, of course, they are very tasty too!
A 2006 study, which was published in the journal Experimental Biology and Medicine, deduced that one of the antioxidants in apples called quercin was one of two compounds that helped to reduce the death of cells caused by oxidation (free radical damage) and inflammation of neurons in our bodies
Another study in the same year, published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, stated that the regular consumption of apple juice may increase an essential neurotransmitter in the brain called acetylcholin. This neurotransmitter is needed to improve memory and may therefore be beneficial to people suffering from Alzheimer's-like symptoms
In addition to this, a further study in 2008 in the Journal of Food Science found that,because of their high levels of antioxidants, if you include apples in your diet on a regular basis, they may help to protect your neuron cells against something called oxidative stress-induced neurotoxicity. As a result, this may help to reduce the risk of neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s Disease
Florida State University conducted a study in which they concluded that apples were indeed a miracle food! This was as a result of finding that if older women consumed an apple each day, they had 23% less of the “bad” LDL cholesterol in their body and 4% more of the “good” HDL cholesterol after just six months!
Another fact, which is widely reported, is that eating an apple a day may help to prevent breast cancer. There were a series of studies carried out by the prominent Cornell research Rui Hai Liu. Liu is reported as saying that “the growing evidence that increased consumption of fruits and vegetables, including apples, would provide consumers with more phenolics, which are proving to have important health benefits. I would encourage consumers to eat more and a wide variety of fruits and vegetables daily."
In 2014, a study which was published in the journal Food Chemistry in 2014 analysed the bioactive compounds of seven different varieties of apples - Granny Smith, Braeburn, Fuji, Gala, Golden Delicious, McIntosh and Red Delicious affected the good gut bacteria when they had induced obesity in mice. They found that Granny Smiths appeared to have a particularly beneficial effects on good gut bacteria. As a result of this they suggested that this may help to prevent obesity and its associated disorders in people
So, what are apples high in?
They are high in Vitamin C. This is an important natural antioxidant, which is capable of blocking some of the damage caused by free radicals in our body as well as boosting our immune system against colds etc.
They are also high in B-complex vitamins (riboflavin, thiamin, and vitamin B6). These vitamins are essential for keeping our red blood cells and nervous system in good health
Apples are also high in minerals such as calcium, which is good for bone health and density; potassium, which, being an electrolyte, is good for helping to control our heart rate and blood pressure as well as reducing blood sugar levels. The other mineral, which is present in high doses in apples is phosphorus. Phosphorus is really important for bone growth and kidney function.