An Apple a Day
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Apples are one of my favorite fruits and easy to do the “Apple a Day” kick. They are versatile, portable, inexpensive, and unlike a lot of other fruit, they store pretty well. They also have quite a few surprising health benefits. There’s good reason why we have the saying “An Apple A Day Keeps The Doctor Away”. Let’s look at some of the ways your health can benefit from eating apples regularly.
An Apple a Day Can Help You Lose Weight Naturally
Yes, yes they can. Why? Well, apples make for a great snack that are low in calories with only about 90 calories for a medium apple. This humble little fruit is also packed full of fiber and it includes a lot of water. Both the fiber and water help you stay fuller longer. that fiber is really important for us to have which we will see shortly.
Lets face it, losing weight isn’t easy. We spend hundreds of dollars on special food, magic pills, and expensive exercise equipment. We look for that magical food that will keep us full longer without adding extra calories so we can burn off unwanted body fat. The solution we’ve all been looking for may be quite simple and inexpensive – eat more apples.
Give this a try and see how it works for you. Twenty minutes before you sit down for one of your main meals, eat a small to medium sized apple. For best results, you want to leave the skin on since it contains a lot of the fiber. Just eat the apple, then wait and go about preparing your main meal.
By eating the apple before your main meal and leaving a little time in between the two, you’re starting to fill your stomach with a low calorie food and you’re giving your body time to realize that there’s food in your stomach. By the time you’re ready to sit down for your main meal, you’re not nearly as hungry as you were twenty minutes ago.
This small habit is important because it will keep you from overeating. It gives you the will power to stop eating when you’re satisfied. You end up eating a lot less and save quite a few more calories than the 90 or so contained in the apple you just ate. And since that apple was packed with lots of water and fiber, it will help keep you full longer.
Of course the fact that you’re eating more fresh fruit doesn’t hurt either. Adding two to three apples per day to your meal plan is a good start towards those five servings of fruits and veggies we should all be getting.
Apples Can Lower Your Risk For Heart Disease
Here is where we start talking about fiber. The fiber in apples is soluble fiber. This is a great substance that will help lower cholesterol. It works the same way that a bowl of oatmeal you have for breakfast per your doctor’s orders. In fact, add some chopped apple and snack on another apple in the afternoon for best results.
According to Everyday Health, not only do apples taste delicious on their own or when added to dishes, but they come loaded with health benefits. “Apples have been linked to numerous health benefits, including improved gut health and reduced risk of stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and some cancers,” says Jessica Levinson, RDN, a culinary nutrition expert in Westchester, New York.
A study published in 2013 in the British Medical Journal comparing cardiovascular mortality rates between people taking the statin drugs and those eating an apple a day concludes, “We find that [the] 150-year-old proverb is able to match modern medicine and is likely to have fewer side effects.”
An Apple a Day May Help Reduce Your Risk For Diabetes
People who eat apples on a regular basis, have a lower risk for developing diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Part of that is due to the fact that the fiber in apples keeps us full longer, and we’re less likely to gain weight – a major risk factor for both of these medical issues.
The other reason is phytonutrients that we don’t quite completely understand. Yet, antioxidants and other nutrients in apples seem to have a positive effect on our body and how it processes food.
Apples Boost Your Immune System
Apples are packed with vitamin C which as you know helps boost your immune system and fight off infection. That’s why you’re told to take vitamin C or drink orange juice when you feel a cold coming on. As it turns out, apples are vitamin C power houses. Eat one per day during cold and flu season to give your immune system that extra boost to make it through without getting sick.
Apples Reduce Risks for Certain Cancers
Apples may even help prevent cancer. That’s pretty amazing for one little humble fruit. Apples like many other fresh fruits and vegetables are packed with antioxidants. Those little compounds attach themselves and neutralize cancer causing free radicals. The soluble fiber in apples helps keep your digestive system in order, possibly preventing the dangerous colon cancer.
Helpful for your Lungs
Antioxidant-rich apples may help protect our lungs from oxidative damage. An excess of harmful molecules called free radicals can cause oxidative damage. This may lead to inflammatory and allergenic responses in your body(National Library of Medicine).
Apple skin is rich in the antioxidant quercetin, which can help regulate your immune system and reduce inflammation according to Healthline.com. Theoretically, this could make apples effective against late phases of bronchial asthma responses. Supporting this, test-tube and animal studies suggest quercetin may be a suitable treatment for allergic inflammatory diseases like asthma and sinusitis (National Library of Medicine).
According to the National Library of Medicine, other compounds found in apples, including ones called proanthocyanidins, may reduce or prevent allergic asthma airway inflammation.
Who knew that a couple of apples per day may be just the weight loss aid you needed to move those scales in the right direction or to just stay healthy at the same time. Mom sure knew what she was talking about (and your Doctor too)!
What’s your favorite apple variety? Leave me a comment and let me know-pencil me in for the amazing Gala!
Look for fun and healthy Apple Recipes next week! In the meantime you can check out these recipes, both wonderful for the cooler fall and winter days:
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