An Apple a Day: The Little Known Health Benefits of Apples
By Sara Butler
Apples are extremely popular. They taste great, they’re abundantly available and they appeal to people of all ages. As familiar as you think you may be with apples, there are a few health benefits that may surprise you. Here are some of the lesser known health benefits of apples!
They’re Good for Your Heart
Studies have linked apples to a reduced risk of heart disease! This is because apples contain an antioxidant called polyphenols in the peel. This antioxidant helps to protect your cells and even lower blood pressure. Plus, apples contain a heap of soluble fiber, the kind of fiber that helps lower cholesterol levels in your blood. So, an apple a day really might just keep the heart doctor away!
They Promote a Healthy Gut
Apples have something in them called pectin. Pectin is a kind of fiber that is considered a prebiotic, which means it helps to keep the good bacteria in your gut healthy and fed. Pectin is not broken down in your small intestine, and that means that it can make it all the way to your colon and help to feed the good bacteria that make their home there.
They May Help Fight Asthma
It turns out that apples just might help to protect your lungs. Researchers have found that apples contain quercetin, a flavonoid that helps to reduce inflammation and regulate your immune system. So, it helps to impact the incidence of asthma and even helps to keep asthma related to allergies down.
Apples Might Help Protect Your Stomach from NSAID Drugs
There is a class of painkillers called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and they can cause injury to the lining of your stomach if you take them too frequently. Some studies have found that the compounds chlorogenic acid and catechin found in apples are helpful in reducing damage to the lining of your stomach from these drugs.
They Might Help Keep Your Mind Sharp in Old Age
Apple juice might be the fountain of youth for your brain, protecting it from the decline often experienced in old age. Apple juice concentrate has been found in animal studies to reduce something called reactive oxygen species that is harmful to your brain tissue. The apple juice may help to preserve a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine and low levels of this neurotransmitter have been linked to Alzheimer’s disease.
So, if you need a reason to include more apples in your diet you don’t need to look anymore! Go ahead and have an apple – it’s really good for you in more ways than one!