Apples (also known as malus sylvestris or pyrus malus) are one of the best known and most common fruits in the world with over 7,500 different variations growing worldwide. The saying "An apple a day keeps the doctor away" has been in circulation since 1866, and according to modern research, apples do in fact have several health benefits.
The first mention of people eating apples can be traced all the way back to ancient Greece. Back then, they could be used as a way for a man to propose to a woman; today they're famous for their variety of health benefits. Mostly eaten raw, apples have earned their fame and the name of "superfood" for several reasons:
Apples are rich in several vitamins including Vitamin C, Vitamin A, and Vitamin E. Vitamin C from apples, like any other source of the vitamin, can help to boost your immune system and help you stay healthy overall. The vitamins A and E will also have an effect on your health as they have been known to help reduce the risk of of developing heart disease, diabetes, and even asthma. Apples are also a good source of pectin and boron. Pectin is a soluble fiber that can help regulate the digestive system. In addition to this, pectin also lowers blood pressure, glucose levels, and bad cholesterol. Consumption of boron can support bone and brain health.
Quercetin is a nutrient found in apples and is known as a flavonoid. This flavonoid is believed to have the potential to help prevent different cancers including lung and breast cancer. It is also believed that quercetin may help prevent damage done by free radicals. Free radicals are atoms that have unpaired electrons. These unpaired electrons can result in damage to a cell and even to DNA. The damage caused by free radicals has been linked to different age-related diseases including Alzheimer's. Quercetin has the ability to neutralize free radicals, helping to prevent such diseases.
Eating an apple can be a good support for keeping your mouth healthy. They help clean your teeth by abrasion as they have a firm texture to bite into, and their mildly acidic nature also helps remove plaque and stains from teeth, so apples are great to eat after a meal or strong colored drink such as a coffee. Drinking a glass of water after the apple is even better as this then washes away acidic saliva and also any plaque residue.
So called "white produce", including apples and pears, has usually been assumed to be less healthy than fruits and vegetables with darker, richer colors such as spinach or raspberries. In a study done by researchers from the Netherlands, however, that idea was brought into question. In a ten year study, scientists found that seniors who consumed the equivalent of a medium or large apple in white produce had a fifty-two percent less risk of having a stroke as compared to others who ate less of the white produce. In fact, it was discovered as a general rule of thumb that every twenty-five grams of apples consumed daily resulted in a seven percent lowering of the chance of a stroke. Why this is and whether the information is reliable is still in question but considering the number of health promoting nutrients apples contain, the idea isn't so far-fetched.
A method for controlling weight that is growing in popularity is replacing high fat foods with those high in fiber, rather than simply trying to cut out foods and eat less. Eating foods high in fiber helps a person to feel full and prevent cravings that could result in overeating. This happens because fiber for the most part is something we cannot digest. This causes the digestive process to slow down and the feeling of being full lasts longer. Apples in particular are an ideal food for this purpose. They are rich in fiber but are also low in calories. Also, the average person must consume at least twenty-five grams of fiber daily; a medium or large sized apple can contain around one hundred and seventy one grams of fiber.
Apples are mostly eaten raw. They can also be stewed. Dried apple pieces are also widely available and can provide a great snack when it is not possible to carry fresh fruit. Apple peel provides many of the health benefits so it is best to eat apples with the peel on. Rinse them well first to remove any pesticide residue.
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