Apple is a fruit of Asian origin that controls certain diseases such as diabetes, it lowers cholesterol and it also improves digestion, contributing to a better use of nutrients. It is also important to those who want to lose weight as it is rich in fiber and it contains few calories.
In addition, apple is also rich in pectin, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that help strengthen the immune system. It also has other benefits that include:
1. Protects against cardiovascular disease
Apple is rich in pectin, a soluble fiber that acts by increasing digestion and decreasing absorption of fats from food. It therefore helps in reducing cholesterol in the body, which is responsible for the development of cardiovascular diseases such as myocardial infarction or atherosclerosis.
The fruit also contains polyphenols that have antioxidant properties which help in controlling blood pressure hence reducing the risk of stroke.
2. Controls diabetes
The polyphenols contained in apple prevent damage to the beta cells of the pancreas, which are responsible for the production of insulin. Studies show that eating an apple a day reduces damage to the cells by decreasing the risk of developing diabetes.
In addition, the antioxidant property of polyphenols reduces the absorption of sugar hence contributing to the reduction of blood glucose.
3. Helps you lose weight
Apple is also rich in fiber and water which increase the feeling of satiety hence reducing appetite as this is a benefit to those who want to lose weight.
Pectin present in apple also reduces the absorption of fats by the intestines, hence decreasing the amount of calories from the meal.
4. Improves bowel function
One of the main soluble fibers, pectin, absorbs water from the digestive tract hence forming a gel that aids in digestion, helping the intestines to function better. It is best to consume apple with the peel because the largest amount of pectin is found in the peels.
Apples can also be consumed during diarrhoea so as to regulate the intestine but it should be consumed without the peels.
5. Relieves stomach pains
Apple fibers, especiallly pectin relieve stomach and gastritis pain and this helps in healing of gastric ulcers as they form a gel that protects the stomach mucosa.
It is best to consume two apples a day; one in the morning and another in the evening.
6. Prevents cancer
The polyphenols present in apple have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that reduce damage to the cells hence preventing cancer. Studies show that consuming an apple a day reduces the risk of getting colorectal, breast and digestive cancer.
7. Prevents caries
Apple contains malic acid that increases production of saliva and decrease proliferation of bacteria that are responsible for the formation of plaque that causes cavities in teeth. In addition, a greater amount of saliva helps in removal of bacteria from the mouth.
The soluble fibers in apples clean the teeth and it also contains vitamins and minerals that keep the teeth healthy.
8. Improves brain function
Apples increase production of Acetylcholine that is responsible for the communication between neurons hence improving memory and reducing risk of developing Alzheimer’s.
In addition, the B-complex vitamins and vitamin C that are present in apple help in the protection of the nervous system.
9. Slows aging
Apple contains Vitamin A, E and C which are antioxidants that help in fighting free radicals which are formed due to ageing, pollution and poor nutrition. Vitamin C also helps in the production of collagen that maintains skin stiffness, decreases wrinkles and sagging.
How to use apple to take advantage of its benefits
Apple is a very nutritious fruit but also very versatile and it can be used in several ways:
- Baked or roasted apple: Useful mainly in cases of gastrointestinal problems such as vomiting or diarrhoea
- Raw apple with peel: Helps to decrease appetite and regulate the intestine because it has many fibers
- Raw apple without peel: Important in holding the intestine
- Apple juice: Helps moisturize, regulate the trapped intestine and decrease appetite because it has a fiber called pectin that stays in the stomach longer hence increasing satiety
- Dehydrated apple: Great for children because it has a crispier texture that can be used as a substitute for french fries. Simply put the apple in the oven with low temperature, about 20 minutes until crispy
- Apple tea: Improves digestion and relieves constipation. Apple peel can also be added in less tasty teas like stonebreaker tea to give a nicer flavor
- Apple cider vinegar: Prevents and treats joint pain, as well as reducing stomach pain and improving digestion. Apple cider vinegar can be consumed in salads or you can dilute 1 to 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water and drink 20 minutes before breakfast or lunch.
Eating 1 apple a day for breakfast, as a dessert or as a snack is a great way to enjoy all its benefits, ensuring good health.