It will take more than one apple daily to keep you healthy, but learning more about apple nutrition is a great place to start. Apples are a handy, inexpensive snack, are low in calories, high in fiber and contain a number of valuable antioxidants and nutrients. Add the fact that they are nature's mouth freshener, and the reasons for adding apples to your dietary staples become increasingly evident.
A good place to start exploring the benefits of apple nutrition is, of course, the skin. Although apples do not contain large amounts of vitamins and minerals, the skin of apples contains important fibers such as pectin. Pectin is a soluble fiber that helps to prevent cholesterol build-up in the blood vessels, which aids in the prevention of heart disease. Pectin and the other fibers found both in the skin and the flesh and core of apples, are good forms of roughage, which helps constipation and contributes to the smooth running of the digestive tract. It helps prevent diverticulitis, a condition that often leads to colon cancer. It also slows the breakdown of food into sugar, which helps control blood sugar levels. This makes apples ideal for diabetes sufferers.
Another major factor of apple nutrition is their richness in antioxidants, such as flavonoids and polyphenols. Antioxidants are essential in maintaining a healthy body balance, as their key function is to protect the damaging effects of oxidation to cells and tissue in the body. An example of oxidation would be how the flesh of a peeled apple begins to turn brown if left in the open. Dipping the apple in lemon juice or another substance rich in antioxidants will slow the oxidizing process, keeping it fresh for longer. Quercitin, a bioflavaonoid also found in onions and tea, is perhaps the most important antioxidant found in apples. It's responsible for combating the harmful molecules that cause or contribute to diseases and conditions such asthma, eczema and arthritis. Studies have shown that consuming 100g of apple can produce an antioxidant equivalent of taking 1,500mg of vitamin C.
A Wide Range of Benefits
The nutritional benefits of apples are high in number, and apart from those already listed include aiding in eye and nerve health, helping kidney stone prevention, boosting the immune system and even promoting hair growth and replacing collagen in the skin. Apples even contribute to dental care, as they help clean teeth and gums and reduce the chance of cavities. The fiber cleanses the teeth, while the antiviral properties in apples help to fight against harmful bacteria.
You'll need to eat more than one apple a day in order to glean the maximum benefits the fruit has to offer, but incorporating them into your diet is easy. There are hundreds of apple-friendly recipes for food and beverages available. You might not keep your doctor away indefinitely, but knowing about apple nutrition means you'll certainly notice the positive difference once you reintroduce them into your diet.