I recently went apple picking and my latest co-op share was full of apples. My fridge is currently stock full of more apples than you can shake a stick at. If you’re into shaking sticks at things, that is. Apples tend to get overlooked for flashier, more trendy produce such as pumpkins and figs, but these crisp and juicy little nutritional powerhouses are packed with so many health benefits, that they really can keep that doctor away.
Increased Immunity – Apples are packed with Vitamin C, which we all know helps boost the immune system. It’s also believed that apples may impact the beneficial bacteria in the intestines, which can lead to increased immunity, as the immune system is largely housed in the gut.
Cancer Prevention – Studies have shown that apples’ high levels of flavonoids, quercetin and naringin can help prevent lung, breast, colon and liver cancers.
Heart Health – Researchers have found that men and women who ate apples frequently had a lower risk of suffering strokes compared to people who didn’t eat apples at all. It’s believed that the antioxidants found in apples are the reason, as they help lower LDL cholesterol and inhibit inflammation. Apples’ soluble fiber has also been shown to lower cholesterol levels.
Blood Sugar Regulation – The pectin found in apples has been shown to lower the body’s need for insulin and quercetin can help the body regulate blood sugar.
Weight Loss – Apples are low in calories, and their fiber content can help the body feel full. In studies, people who consumed apples felt satisfied afterward and reported less hunger than those who ate applesauce or drank apple juice. This led to eating less at meals, resulting in fewer calories consumed throughout the day.
Lower Asthma Risk – Studies have shown that the large amount of antioxidants in apples can help lower the risk of developing asthma. Separate studies have shown that children who had asthma suffered from less wheezing after drinking apple juice on a daily basis.
So there you have it! Apples are packed with nutrition and health benefits, but as they’re number 1 on EWG’s dirty dozen list, make sure your apples are organic and local, if possible.