An Apple A Day Keeps Health Risks Away!
One of the oldest and widely known proverbs of the world is: “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.”
It is an old Welsh proverb that was designed to encourage people to up their consumption of apples. This was because of the numerous health benefits contained in this little fruit.
Apples are one of the most cultivated and consumed food items around the world. They are featured in the lists of healthiest foods as put up by different websites or organisations or people. Apples are also delicious to eat and inviting to look at. After all, how many people can actually stop themselves from reaching out towards a red, juicy looking apple?
NUTRITIVE VALUE OF APPLES
Every 100gms serving of an apple contains:
- 50Kcal of energy
- 13.81gms of Carbohydrates
- .26gms of proteins
- .17gms of total fat
- 0mg of cholesterol
- 2.40gms of Dietary Fiber.
It also contains
- 54 IU of Vitamin A
- 4.6mgs of Vitamin C
- .18mgs of Vitamin E
- 2.2mgs of Vitamin K
- 1 mg of Sodium
- 107mg of Potassium
- 6mg of Calcium
- 0.12mg of Iron
- 5mg of Magnesium
- 11mg of Phosphorous
- and 0.04mg of Zinc, apart from other essential ingredients.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF APPLES
- Apples prove beneficial for us is the presence of phytonutrients in the apples. These help regulate blood sugar content.
- Research has concluded that polyphenols of apples prevent sudden spikes in blood sugar levels through various mechanisms. The polyphenols are also known to reduce glucose absorption from the digestive tract.
- They also stimulate the beta cells present in the pancreas to secrete insulin and to increase the absorption of glucose from the bloodstream through stimulation of insulin receptors.
- Studies have also concluded that consumption of apples in their natural whole state can substantially reduce numerous blood fats. This fat lowering effect of apples particularly stems from its soluble fiber content, in particular the soluble fiber portion of its polysaccharide component, popularly known as pectins.
- The consumption of apples in its whole, natural state is also important because apple eaten in this form makes one feel fuller for a longer time as compared to drinking apple juice or eating applesauce.
- Eating a full apple also leads to lesser amount of food being eaten, helping people lose weight.
- If you compare an apple with any of the other commonly eaten fruits, you will find out that it has one of the highest anti-oxidant activity.
- Apples also rank the highest in terms of their free phenolic compounds content. This means that they are not bound to other compounds in the fruit and hence are easily absorbed into the bloodstream.
- The main anti-oxidant concentration of the fruit lies in its outer red colour peel where anti-oxidants such as catechin, procyanidins, chlorogenic acid, ploridizin and more are present.
- Owing to the presence of these anti-oxidants, apples have been found to keep the following five chronic diseases at bay – Brain Health, Stroke, Diabetes, Cancer and Heart Disease.
- The process of biting and chewing an apple also stimulates the production of good quantities of saliva in the mouth, which results in reduction of tooth decay due to lowered bacteria levels
- . A study performed on mice has also revealed that consumption of apple juice could keep Alzheimer’s disease at bay and could also delay the aging process of the brain.The mice in the study that were kept on a high apple content diet showed enhanced levels of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine and also generally performed better in maze tests as compared to the mice on a regular healthy diet.
- Scientists of the American Association for Cancer Research have also agreed that eating apples with high flavonol content could reduce the risk of developing pancreatic cancer by almost 23 percent.
- Researchers at the Cornell University have found several compounds in the apple peel, by the name of triterpenoids, which may have strong anti-growth tendencies against cancerous or malignant cells in the liver, colon and breast.
- It has also been shown that particularly in women, consumption of at least one apple a day lowers the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by almost 28%.
- The soluble fiber of the apples also binds the body fat to the intestines, which in turn lowers the blood cholesterol level.
Apples are thus not only tempting looking delicious fruits, but are also a major combatant that can help reduce the risk of multiple diseases and ailments with regular consumption.
It is thus advised by almost all doctors to make sure that during the season of apples, people stock up on plenty on the fruit and maintain adequate intake to ensure protection against numerous ailments.