By Benprince Ezeh
APPLE is often called a “miracle food” and a “nutritional powerhouse”. And an apple a day really makes one stay off the sickbed as it is one of the healthiest foods a person can eat.
These round and juicy fruits are high in fiber and vitamin C, and they are also low in calories, have only a trace of sodium, and no fat or cholesterol.
Whether you have them as a stand-alone snack in the middle of a work-filled day or as part of salads, smoothies, pies, or desserts, apples rarely disappoint.
Apples are high in polyphenols, which function as antioxidants, said Laura Flores, a nutritionist based in San Diego. “These polyphenols are found in both the skin of the apples as well as in the meat, so to get the greatest amount of benefits, eat the skin of the apple.”
With loads of its benefits, this means that apples may mitigate the effects of asthma and Alzheimer’s disease while assisting with weight management, bone health, pulmonary function, and gastrointestinal protection.
Felicita Ogbu, a doctor based in Ukraine said that apples are loaded with vitamin C, especially in the skins, which are also full of fiber. “It contains insoluble fiber, which is the type of fiber that doesn’t absorb water, provides bulk in the intestinal tract and helps food move quickly through the digestive system,” Ogbu said.
According to her, Pectin fiber helps lower the body’s absorption of excess dietary fats, which is the rich quantum of fiber found in apples and also, helps you feel full for longer. “Fiber takes the longest to digest, which helps you keep satiated and prevents you from binging on other fattening and sugar-laden foods. In the long run, this aids in weight loss,” she concluded.
Jennifer Ani, a nutritionist said that women, who eat apples at least once a day are 28 percent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those who don’t eat apples.
“The reason this is a health benefit of apples is that this fruit is loaded with soluble fiber, the key to blunting blood sugar swings,” she said.
According to Ani, an extensive body of research has linked high soluble fiber intake with a slower build-up of cholesterol-rich plaque in arteries. “The phenolic compound found in apple skins prevents the cholesterol that gets into your system from solidifying on your artery walls. When plaque builds inside your arteries, it reduces blood flow to your heart, leading to coronary artery disease.
“Apple also helps in clearing toxins out of one’s body by making the liver healthy. Many doctors are skeptical of fad detox diets, saying they have the potential to do more harm than good. Luckily, one of the best and easiest things you can eat to help detoxify your liver is fruits, like apples,” she said.
Tosin Ogundare, another nutritionist with Federal Medical Center, FMC, Abeokuta, said that Red apples in particular contain an antioxidant called quercetin. “Recent studies have found that quercetin can help boost and fortify your immune system, especially when you’re stressed out. That’s one of the most unexpected health benefits of apples.
Another benefit is that apples help in preventing cataracts. “Though past studies have been divided on the issue, recent long-term studies suggest that people who have a diet rich in fruits that contain antioxidants like apples are 10 to 15 percent less likely to develop cataracts. So, as you can see, apple benefits are endless,” Ogundare said.
– Oct. 24, 2020 @ 11:48 GMT |