An Apple a Day: Five Health Benefits of Apples

Health-Benefits-of-Apples

Delicious and crunchy apples are one of the most popular fruits in the US. However, what are the health benefits of apples? You’re probably familiar with the the old Welsh proverb that states “an apple a day keeps the doctor away,” but is this cheap, common fruit really that great for your health?

 

Well, it turns out that there are many benefits to eating apples, and they are still considered a “miracle fruit.” Here are five important health benefits of apples.

 

Apples Keep You Feeling Energized

Apples contain important nutrients like B vitamins. These vitamins play an important role in converting food into fuel, keeping you energized throughout the day. Be sure to eat the peel to get the maximum health benefits.

 

Apples Can Help Keep You Looking Young

Apples are an excellent source of antioxidants, including vitamin C. Antioxidants help combat free radicals, which damage skin and cells. Vitamin C is important in repairing this damage, and can help slow the aging process as well as prevent cells from becoming cancerous. Some animal studies have also found that an antioxidant called polyphenol found in apples may extend lifespans.

 

Apples Can Improve Cholesterol Levels and Reduce Inflammation

According to research done at the University of Florida, women aged 45-65 who added 75 grams per day of dried apples to their diet had a 23% decrease in LDL or “bad” cholesterol and a 4% increase in HDL or “good” cholesterol. In addition, the apple eaters showed a decrease in C-reactive protein, suggesting a reduction in inflammation.

 

Apples Provide Quercetin

Quercetin is a flavonoid that has both antihistamine and anti-inflammatory properties. Some research suggests that Quercetin may help reduce the risk of heart disease. According to WebMD, quercetin may also help reduce prostate pain, swelling (inflammation), and improve the quality of life for men with ongoing prostate problems not due to infection.

 

Apples Can Help You Feel Full

A large apple contains about 5 grams of fiber. You can’t digest fiber, but it plays an important role in colon health as well as slowing down digestion, keeping you feeling full longer. This can help aid in weight loss and weight maintenance.

 

So now that you know a little more about health benefits of apples, why not try this quick and easy baked apple recipe?

 

Easy Baked Apple

  • Preheat oven to 350°F
  • Wash and core an apple, but do not peel
  • In a small bowl, mix together 2 tablespoons of oatmeal
  • A dash of cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons of brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoons of melted butter
  • Stuff the cored apple with the oatmeal mixture
  • Place the stuffed apple into a shallow baking dish sprayed with cooking spray
  • Bake 20-30 minutes or until tender
  • You may also microwave the apple for about 5 minutes instead of baking
  • Enjoy warm with a dollop of whipped cream or a small scoop of frozen yogurt
Jennifer M. Wood, MS, RD
Jennifer M Wood, MS, RDN is registered dietitian nutritionist and successful food and nutrition consultant in Southeastern Minnesota. As the founder of a nation-wide gourmet food company, Wood wrote Jenny’s Country Kitchen…recipes for making homemade a little easier! (2003), which is a timeless collection of make-ahead, freeze-ahead and pantry-stocking recipes and time saving tips to help busy families put nutritious food on table. Wood graduated with a pre-med bachelors degree in nutritional science in 2001, completed her dietetic internship in 2007 and went on to complete a master’s degree in food and nutrition in 2011.

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