It’s apple season and according to data from the U.S. Apple Association, the 2022-2023 production will exceed 10.7 billion pounds of fruit. Whether you get your apples from a farm, farmer’s market, or supermarket, it’s beneficial to add them to your shopping list.
According to TODAY, this tasty, juicy fruit is chock full of nutrition. Apples are great stand-alone snacks, but can also be added to salads, main dishes, and desserts. One medium apple has about 95 calories, 25 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber, and 8 milligrams of vitamin C. But most of the benefits come from the polyphenols in apples, which WebMD says help manage blood pressure levels and keep your blood vessels healthy and flexible, promoting good circulation. Apple also help reduce chronic inflammation, another risk factor for heart disease.
More health benefits of apples:
• Contribute to weight loss. Studies have shown that people who ate apple slices before a meal lost more weight than those in the control group who did not. That’s because the fiber in apples makes you feel fuller, longer, says Healthline. Leave the skin on to get the full amount of fiber.
• Boost cardiovascular health. The soluble fiber in apples has been linked to lowering blood cholesterol levels, says Healthline, and the flavonoids in this fruit may reduce the risk for stroke. One study found that eating an apple a day lowered the risk of dying from heart disease equally as well as statin drugs.
• Reduce risk for diabetes. According to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, the antioxidant effect of the flavonoids found in apples may prevent cell damage in the pancreas, the organ that is responsible for secreting insulin in response to extra sugar in the blood. The Women’s Health Study followed 38,000 women over a period of nine years and found those who ate one or more apples a day had a 28% lower risk for Type 2 diabetes.
• Act as a prebiotic. Apples contain pectin, a type of fiber that helps feed the good bacteria in your gut. The latest research proposes that this is the reason apples are so protective against obesity, Type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular health.
• Promote healthy teeth and fresh breath. Eating hard fruits and vegetables like apples, carrots and celery help remove odor-causing plaque and food particles, says WebMD.
• Linked to lower cancer risk. Test-tube studies have revealed that the plant compounds found in apples are associated with a reduced risk for cancer, according to Healthline. Other studies support this evidence and scientists believe it is the fruit’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects that may be responsible for lowering cancer risk.
• Preserve bone health. Eating fruit has been linked to bone density which helps maintain strong, healthy bones and preserves bone mass as you age. A study published in the journal Advances in Nutrition found that women who ate fresh apples lost less calcium from their bodies than those who ate applesauce or no apples at all.
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