Ap­ples Of­fer Su­per­food For Health Ben­e­fits

Washington County Enterprise-Leader - - APPLE FESTIVAL - SOURCE: HUF­FPOST

Septem­ber is here (and gone) and with it, the start of the har­vest sea­son of one of our fa­vorite su­per­foods, the ap­ple.

Ap­ples Lower Choles­terol

One medium-sized ap­ple con­tains about four grams of fiber. Some of that is in the form of pectin, a type of sol­u­ble fiber that has been linked to lower lev­els of LDL or “bad” choles­terol. That’s be­cause it blocks ab­sorp­tion of choles­terol, ac­cord­ing to We­bMD, help­ing the body to use it rather than store it.

Ap­ples Keep You Full

Ap­ple’s wealth of fiber can also keep you feel­ing full for longer with­out cost­ing you a lot of calo­ries — there are about 95 in a medium-sized piece of fruit. That’s be­cause it takes our bod­ies longer to digest com­plex fiber than more sim­ple ma­te­ri­als like sugar or re­fined grains. Any­thing with at least three grams of fiber is a good source of the nu­tri­ent; most peo­ple should aim to get about 25 to 40 grams a day.

Ap­ples Keep You Slim

One com­po­nent of an ap­ple’s peel (which also has most of the fiber) is some­thing called ur­so­lic acid, which was linked to a lower risk of obe­sity in a re­cent study in mice. That’s be­cause it boosts calo­rie burn and in­creases mus­cle and brown fat.

Ap­ples Pre­vent Breath­ing Prob­lems

Five or more ap­ples a week (less than an ap­ple a day) has been linked with bet­ter lung func­tion, Health mag­a­zine re­ported, most likely be­cause of an an­tiox­i­dant called quercetin found in the skin of ap­ples (as well as in onions and toma­toes), the BBC re­ported.

And the breath ben­e­fits of ap­ples ex­tend even fur­ther: A 2007 study found that women who eat plenty of the fruit are less likely to have chil­dren with asthma.

Ap­ples Fight Colds

While they don’t quite ri­val or­anges, ap­ples are con­sid­ered a good source of im­mune-sys­tem-boost­ing vi­ta­min C, with over 8 mil­ligrams per medium-sized fruit, which amounts to roughly 14 per­cent of your daily rec­om­mended in­take.

Ap­ples May Fight Can­cer

In 2004, French re­search found that a chem­i­cal in ap­ples helped pre­vent colon can­cer, We­bMD re­ported. And in 2007, a study from Cor­nell found ad­di­tional com­pounds, called triter­penoids, which seem to fight against liver, colon and breast can­cers.

Ap­ples De­crease Di­a­betes Risk

A 2012 study pub­lished in the Amer­i­can Jour­nal of Clin­i­cal Nu­tri­tion found that ap­ples, as well as pears and blue­ber­ries, were linked with a lower risk of de­vel­op­ing type 2 di­a­betes be­cause of a class of an­tiox­i­dants, an­tho­cyanins, that are also re­spon­si­ble for red, pur­ple and blue col­ors in fruits and veg­gies.

Ap­ples Boost Brain Power

The fruit has been linked to an uptick in acetyl­choline pro­duc­tion, Good House­keep­ing re­ported, which com­mu­ni­cates be­tween nerve cells, so ap­ples may help your mem­ory and lower your chances of de­vel­op­ing Alzheimer’s.

A diet rich in an­tiox­i­dants may have sim­i­lar ef­fects, so ap­ples, since they are par­tic­u­larly rich in quercetin, are a good bet, ac­cord­ing to 2004 re­search.

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